Let me start this post be acknowledging that removing Personal Ordnance Drops altogether is an entirely valid solution to the problem their inclusion created in Halo 4. However, that isn’t to say that they SHOULD be scrapped entirely. There are alternatives.
EDIT: To reiterate the ideas for how to implement PODs in different modes, here’s a bulleted list. I hope this makes things more easily understood.
- Campaign- “Ordnance Priority” moment scripted into sections of the missions, rather than being earned by kills/points. The weapon selection should also be predetermined and tied to that section/level.- Firefight- allow PODs to be earned similarly to how they are in Halo 4’s multiplayer (through “points”, rather than kills, as there are various kinds of enemies with different difficulties to take down). However, when a player dies, a fixed amount or percentage of points is subtracted as a penalty (same for betrayals). These ordnance drops should probably be limited to certain UNSC weapons, and should not be too easy to earn.- Spartan Ops- this mode’s PODs could be treated in either the Campaign or Firefight approaches listed above, due to essentially being a hybrid of both.- Multiplayer- the player earns Ordnance through kills, rather than points (to avoid earning PODs by getting Assist/Revenge/Comeback medals). This Ordnance Meter would also reset at death to prevent it from becoming an eventuality. The selection for PODs in MM should be limited to a fixed three weapons or abilities (my idea is of the Chaingun, Flamethrower, and Missile Pod from Halo 3). This limit would help take out the randomness of PODs’ current iteration, as you will know what options are available to you and your enemies.
By this, I mean PODs can make modes other than multiplayer more diverse and interesting, and have no negative effects (due to combating AI rather than other players). Campaign, for instance, can include sections where there are multiple ways to engage the enemies and the player is given a prompt to call down either a Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher, or Shotgun (just a generic selection) to supply the tools needed to maintain the player’s efficiency in various approaches he/she may want to take, as well as add a factor for replay value. This form of integration could also be applied to Spartan Ops and/or Firefight, with players earning ordnance in a similar system to Halo 4’s multiplayer. I feel that these options should have fixed selections determined by the scenario (area in the Campaign, maps and enemies in Spartan Ops/Firefight), but could have this be made into Random Ordnance through a new skull (I really do hope skulls must be scavenged throughout the Campaign and maybe even SpOps/Firefight).
As for multiplayer, PODs negatively impacted Halo, due to the combination of randomness in the selection and the reduction in map control’s influence caused by its inclusion. However, what if the selection was static in only 3 choices? Combine that and predicting enemy players’ choices could reduce the random factor almost to zero. Rethinking how players can earn ordnance in Matchmaking, what if rather than making it an eventuality (very rarely can you play a match of Infinity Slayer and not earn at least one POD), players lost all progress in obtaining their ordnance when they die? This would greatly disallow PODs to undermine the core principle of map control, but still manage to reward skilled players.
Now here’s how I think Personal Ordnance can be relevant, yet balanced with the essential staples of Halo’s multiplayer: making the only 3 options available in PODs to be the Chaingun, Flamethrower, and Missile Pod (the Support weapons of Halo 3). My reasoning behind this is that it will reward skilled players with a very potent weapon that would be most effective in a specific combat role, as well as limit their other abilities (slower movement speed; disabling of grenades, melee, and Armor Abilities/Equipment). Perhaps the inclusion of PODs in multiplayer should be restrained to only appear in certain gametypes (namely Big Team Slayer/BTB and other gametypes that use larger maps and vehicles)?