A Suggestion on Randomized Weapon Spawns and their Effects on Map Dynamic and the Apparent Preparation for E-Sports and Competitive Play

As a preface, I want to say that I Adore Infinite, I believe that this is the best Halo has been in years and I applaud 343’s work. However, there are still elements that require polish, those being xp gain and progression, and how weapons spawns on maps function. There are already plenty of posts about the issues surrounding experience gain and the progression system and everything that needs to be addressed about that has already been said, however there are few or none that address weapon spawns on the map.

Weapon spawns in Halo Infinite work in an interesting manner which, in theory, offer varied and dynamic options and play. However, in practice this comes at a great cost: map knowledge and smart play. This is particularly apparent when it comes to the spawns for power weapons, and especially on big-team-battle modes, where vehicles and players are abundant and stalemates over objectives can quickly form. In these cases, the randomized weapon and item spawns present a serious detriment to gameplay to players across the board. For players on the ground, the issue is consistency when it comes to weapon spawns, which are often in remote locations that can quickly become contested. This can quickly become an issue when no one really knows What weapon they’re scrambling for until they reach it, and this can quickly become a problem.

Depending on the weapon that spawns, it can have a tremendous impact on play and dynamic. For example: one cannot simply use the Cindershot and SPNKR interchangeably. While they serve vaguely similar functions, the damage they do, and the ways they can be used are vastly different, and that is reflected in how people use them. The SPNKR is devastating both as an anti-infantry and vehicle weapon, while the Cindershot is more suited towards dealing with infantry in particular and takes more hits to kill.

While this seems relatively small as an issue, differences in spawns can seriously impact the flow of a game, and how team fights play out in a map. A few well placed shots or smart uses from the Cindershot or SPNKR can prove pivotal in turning the tide of a fight, or giving one side enough momentum to break into a push, making controlling these weapons an incredibly important factor to consider. But the problem arises when it becomes inconsistent what kind of power weapon spawns at the location. If a particular situation demands one kind of weapon or another, and players are given difficulty finding where it spawns, it can become catastrophic when people have to go on scavenger hunts to find the spawn of the weapon in question and whether or not it is currently possessed by a a friendly or enemy.

For vehicles, the randomized weapons spawns are detrimental across the board. Map knowledge and power-weapon possession awareness is essential for smart play. A Scorpion, Wasp, Wraith, or Banshee are played differently by experienced players based on knowledge of map control and weapon possession. The difference between a Sniper and Skewer is extreme, with the latter being the effective replacement to the Spartan Laser and completely devastating towards vehicles, far more than the former. Consistent spawns for weapons means players can reliably know where to search for the play style that best suits them, and also to respond against immediate threats. Knowing where these weapons and gadgets spawn affects how a vehicle can be played and how they are used.

A Scorpion that knows the enemy is in possession of a weapon that poses a hard counter to it will play far more reserved and careful than one with no situational awareness and, as a result, perhaps give the team facing the Scorpion some much-needed breathing room while also preventing the enemy from making an unopposed push to an objective.

Consistent weapon spawns also create an unspoken secondary objective for teams, which is to skirmish and fight over these important locations of the map- or check them regularly to try and keep the weapon in their possession. Places where items like the SPNKR or the Skewer spawn- if the spawns are consistent and the teams know where they are, become an important area for maintaining a presence and control, as having such weapons can really influence which team will have the upper-hand for a brief time while the weapon is theirs.

So, while the idea of randomized weapon and item spawns are a novel idea and certainly can work in smaller games like the gamemodes and maps offered in Quickplay, they quickly mount in issues when applied to bigger team-oriented modes which incorporate a mix of vehicles and infantry. The best solution that I can think of personally, though it may not be the only solution or better ones may exist, is to remove random weapon and item spawns and make them consistent, or at the very least remove it from larger team-oriented modes like Big Team Battle. Map knowledge, control, and power weapon awareness and possession have always been an important part of Halo’s gameplay and, while seemingly small, has a tremendous impact on how games play out. Map Knowledge is also of great importance for any sort of E-sports play or new and inexperienced players, as in the latter’s case, it is an important skill to learn and serves as a point of encouraging improvement.

Ultimately, the idea of random weapon spawns does not seem viable and should instead be reverted to fixed spawns to reward map knowledge, and teach inexperienced players and the casual audience some key concepts important to Halo and, in turn, provide them with a better and more rewarding experience as they pick up on these aspects.

I agree. I liked being able to know which weapons spawned in which places in previous Halos. At least in the Ranked playlist, weapon spawns are consistent.

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Making this as a reply, because I’m the original poster, but for some reason when logging in it put me on some weird shared account thing. But anyways, since I can’t make edits I’ll say it here, the issue is most apparent in Big Team Battle, where vehicles and large-scale coordinated objective are thrown into the mix and the variety of power weapons and weapons as a whole becomes super important.

In modes in quickplay, those 4v4 games, the effect of randomized weapon spawns isn’t as devastating, but can still be mildly infuriating to look for a weapon you know should be somewhere, only to find an alternate pick or different weapon. The random power weapon for the map isn’t as bad, as they’re both still effectively functional to similar effects. In essence, there isn’t really an issue with randomized weapon spawns in quickplay as much, and the intention of creating a varied and dynamic variation is largely achieved with decent success.

But for BTB, there really needs to be consistency with weapon and item spawns because it throws the dynamic out of whack. A good example would be something like Halo Reach’s map Highlands, where the Spartan Laser spawns on the top platform on the waterfall side of the map. On the other side is the Plasma Launcher, also an important weapon. But in this case, the arguably more important one of the two is the Spartan Laser, which often is contended over quickly into the match, especially in capture-based game modes, as it’s an incredibly important tool for shutting down rampaging warthogs that try to drive through the open center of the map, approach your base, or are trying to make an escape with your objective.

Success in Highlands is partially determined by who controls the Spartan Laser, and can keep controlling it whenever it respawns. Nearby the Spartan Laser spawn is where the shotgun spawns, another player favorite, and something that people will hotly contest for control over. So, in addition to the main objective of taking the flag, or delivering the bomb, there is this side-objective to control these power-weapons in order to give yourself or your team an edge that could help you to victory. Both sides get a sniper, but it isn’t something that can destroy a warthog without considerable effort, and is a waste of ammo to most players.

Looking at this, the argument can be made that consistent weapon spawns introduce an important element into the game beyond the listed objective. It encourages players to pursue these side-avenues and try to seek out these weapons to benefit themselves and their team, with the focus of denying the other team access.