Community choice poll: AA's or Equipment?

Yes, ‘another one of these’. Apologies, but given the results from two other on-going polls I was curious to see which way this would go.

After all, numbers speak quicker and clearer than searching through 100+ threads of too and fro repeated arguments, and are open for everyone to see. I also did a search and no other poll on this topic came up. If there is one, please provide a link.

So, vote away and please discuss your votes and the pros and cons of each if you so wish.

~ Duck.

Equipment, please. I want single-use map pickups, not multi-use items available from spawn. Maybe some equipment could be reusable multiple times, maybe even until death, or hold a charge, but definitely no more armour abilities.

Seeing as how they are both extremes of the concept of player abilities, I want a happy medium.

Make the abilities appear on map, and be somewhat more lethal, and allow some to have multiple uses, but the powerful ones be single use.

I’ve gone with both. My reasoning is because I would like to see both AAs and Equipments as map pick-ups. Pick-ups such as a Drop Shield or Regen (like in Halo 3) would be a one time use whereas an ability like Evade or PV could be multiple time use and be treated as a somewhat powerful weapon that would need to be controlled. I really liked how AAs in Halo Reach MLG were implemented on the map.

Also making everything a one time use would render many abilities useless as well as limiting ourselves in mini games (customs in general)

Ignore, can’t read.

~ Duck

Armor Abilities because every other Equipment looked really silly with the Exception of the Bubble Shield.

> Armor Abilities because every other Equipment looked really silly with the Exception of the Bubble Shield.

…so, your problem was that they ‘looked funny’… you care more that something looks good rather than how it affects gameplay??

Just wanna clarify.

~ Duck.

I voted for “other”, because to me both “Armor Abilities” and “Equipment” are specific terms to mean certain mechanics, neither of which I think is optimal. I think we need map pick-ups. The concept of an ability that the player can spawn with, use indefinitely, and change on a whim is fundamentally flawed. On the other hand, Equipment weren’t really good design either because some of them really weren’t that good, and the concept suffers from limitations in general.

Everything that everyone doesn’t spawn with should be a map pick-up. However, there should be flexibility to how the pick-ups are allowed to work. Some abilities work best as traditional power-ups that activate as soon as you touch them and last a certain amount of time. Others work best as reusable abilities, potentially with limited use or “fuel”.

As for the whole idea of Equipment-like single-use items you throw on the ground, as much support there is to them, I really see little justification to them. The whole concept of an object that explodes in a few seconds after it’s thrown away is really shallow. Any “effect” in a game, on average, has strategic significance proportional to how long and how widely it affects the state of the game. For example, it’s really difficult to have meaningful impact on the game with a Grav Lift because you throw it somewhere, and that’s it.

That’s not to say there aren’t ways to use Equipment in a meaningful way. It certainly matters if you use a Power Drain to get rid of the enemy Warthog dominating the game on Standoff. Likewise, it’s not like there couldn’t be a situation where a Grav Lift would make a flag run significantly shorter. But most of the time, what do you use a piece of Equipment for? You use the Bubble Shield to protect yourself from death. You throw the Power Drain at an opponent to gain an advantage in an encounter. Your Trip Mine rarely manages to hit the incoming Warthog.

As much as there is dislike towards Jetpack, it can have an impact on the game. If there is only one Jetpack on the map, it becomes meaningful to keep its user alive because it offers an advantage to the team as long as the user doesn’t get killed. A Promethean Vision that works like the Overshield and allows the user to see every opponent on the map for X seconds can offer valuable insight to a team that communicates.

These abilities aren’t directly defensive or offensive, but they have potential for real impact. And some of the equipment could have their place, too. For instance, Power Drain would work well as a grenade. But Equipment as they were in Halo 3? Not really a good concept to pursue.

Both of them have their drawbacks.

Equipment is flawed because of how its rarity on maps and one time use makes it an area of denial overall for most players. During my days in Halo 3, I almost never used equipment nor did I see it used.

AA’s are flawed because their infinite uses and how they seem to revolve around the individual player instead of teamwork can lead to selfish gameplay or as seen with the JP, AC, and PV, can be gamebreaking.

What do I want?

I want equipment to be placed more often on the map, and for it to have multiple uses depending on the equipment. Additionally, I want Active Camouflage and Promethean Vision to be turned into powerups, and the Jetpack to become a vehicle.

Equipment, but armor abilities can be modified to fit the role. For example, Jet Pack would have a limited amount of fuel and you could have 3 uses on hologram.

> After all, numbers speak quicker and clearer

Numbers do, but you’re well aware that an online forum poll isn’t going to provide clarity on the issue right? All this is going to confirm is that there’s a presence on the forums who is opposed to AAs.

Getting to the topic at hand though: I voted other.

I voted other because Equipment was too conservative and AAs too liberal. Neither are the ideal choice because the former encourages hoarding for perfect opportunities and the later disrupts the game far too much.

Instead I say a blend of both is optimal. With the vast majority, if not all save for one or two abilities (Holo/TP) should be map pickups. These map abilities should drop when you die, have limited “fuel” for them with the rate being dependent on power, and have profile altering cosmetics. Some of the AAs should return as Power Ups, namely Camo, alongside with Damage Boost, Speed Boost, and Overshield.

> > After all, numbers speak quicker and clearer
>
> Numbers do, but you’re well aware that an online forum poll isn’t going to provide clarity on the issue right? All this is going to confirm is that there’s a presence on the forums who is opposed to AAs.

I do, the numbers that frequent the forums do not necessarily constitute the entire number of Halo players, let alone have a high enough volume in and of themselves to deduce a wholly accurate representation of the community as a whole. Forgive me, I wasn’t trying to say “This poll will decide this argument once and for all and show us the way to go”, because we both know it won’t.

However; the argument could also be made, very rightly so, that the people that play the game the most, enjoy it the most, understand it the most and care about it the most…the core of the Halo community, are all the people that more than likely frquent these forums on a regular basis. As such, you ‘could’ say that if 343 were to listen to any section of their community on what they want from the next game…it would and should be this core element, no?

You are at a very nice restaurant, for example and wish to order a bottle of wine to accompany your food. Are you going to ask the sommelier for his/ her opinon…or are you going to ask the person sat on the table opposite whom you overheard say: “I don’t mind, all wine is the same to me”? Or anyone else for that matter.

~ Duck.

Neither. Go back to just having active camo and overshield as a pick-up. The only draw-back is that people will rush towards them at the start of the game, but people do that already with power weapons.

Equipment because I preferred having to scavenge things off the map.

I think the philosophy behind “armor abilities” and “equipment” needs to be addressed, as they are currently viewed as interchangeable. If there was a clear definition between the two they could coexist.

Armor Abilities
The purpose of armor is to protect the wearer from harm in a dangerous environment. Simply wearing armor means flesh is harder to pierce and bones are harder to break. This allows the occupant to survive. Armor “abilities”, therefore, should consist of things that enhance the wearer’s ability to survive and can actually be incorporated into the armor. What comes to mind is Active Camo, Sprint, Hologram, VISR/Promethean Vision.

Equipment
Equipment enhances your ability to fight, and is usually deployed in order to function or is attached to the armor. Jet Pack/Thruster Pack, Dropshield/Hardlight Shield, Regen field, Grav Lift, and Auto Sentry come to mind.

> However; the argument could also be made, very rightly so, that the people that play the game the most, enjoy it the most, understand it the most and care about it the most…the core of the Halo community, are all the people that more than likely frequent these forums on a regular basis. As such, you ‘could’ say that if 343 were to listen to any section of their community on what they want from the next game…it would and should be this core element, no?

You are aware that those that speak the loudest and the longest may not be right? Regardless, I could buy that if the community here took a holistic view.

As it stands, that doesn’t seem the case and the feedback here is coming mainly from high skill MP players and is focused around removing all the elements they don’t like and/or going back to how the old games did things. At best they ignore the rest of the franchise such as Campaign, Forge, and Theater

Catering the game to their style or listening to just them would create a game that they enjoy. Sales success and livelyhood of the franchise are not ensured with that though. They argue that it is but I don’t see it happening myself.

Forum input should certainly be considered but it shouldn’t be the only thing looked at or listened too.

> You are at a very nice restaurant, for example and wish to order a bottle of wine to accompany your food. Are you going to ask the sommelier for his/ her opinon…or are you going to ask the person sat on the table opposite whom you overheard say: “I don’t mind, all wine is the same to me”? Or anyone else for that matter.

Poor analogy in my mind.

You ask the sommelier for his opinion because you want to drink a good wine and he knows good wines. You wouldn’t ask for his opinion on something beyond his field of expertise because he doesn’t know. Same applies here. The competitive community should be the community consulted when making playlists, game modes and gametypes for them. I wouldn’t consult them on whole game building. The twist is that I’ve seen many argue that they do.

Not the whole game, no. But when you want to get a general direction for your overall gameplay to go so that it is competitive and fun to play…why not ask the people that play it most?? The analogy stands.

Also I’m not an MLG player and rank campaign above mp every time…yet I agree with the logic they put across.

Either way, I’m looking to see what the community here on waypoint think. You & I have both proven that everyone here is not mlg and I know countless others that aren’t either.

As much as I agree the waypoint regulars may not 100% reflect the opinions of the community at large, you have to agree they’re not all or mostly mlg as you suggest. Most threads these days are in fact the complete opposite, arguing for things such as AA’s, which mlg players would not do.

~ Duck.

> Armor Abilities because every other Equipment looked really silly with the Exception of the Bubble Shield.

I’m pretty sure Xbox one could make them look pretty dam cool :stuck_out_tongue: Graphics aren’t the problem anymore in video games, it’s gameplay, controls and camera angles that ruin games most of the time.

> <mark>I voted for “other”, because to me both “Armor Abilities” and “Equipment” are specific terms to mean certain mechanics, neither of which I think is optimal. I think we need map pick-ups</mark>. The concept of an ability that the player can spawn with, use indefinitely, and change on a whim is fundamentally flawed. On the other hand, Equipment weren’t really good design either because some of them really weren’t that good, and the concept suffers from limitations in general.
>
> Everything that everyone doesn’t spawn with should be a map pick-up. However, there should be flexibility to how the pick-ups are allowed to work. Some abilities work best as traditional power-ups that activate as soon as you touch them and last a certain amount of time. Others work best as reusable abilities, potentially with limited use or “fuel”.
>
> As for the whole idea of Equipment-like single-use items you throw on the ground, as much support there is to them, I really see little justification to them. The whole concept of an object that explodes in a few seconds after it’s thrown away is really shallow. Any “effect” in a game, on average, has strategic significance proportional to how long and how widely it affects the state of the game. For example, it’s really difficult to have meaningful impact on the game with a Grav Lift because you throw it somewhere, and that’s it.
>
> That’s not to say there aren’t ways to use Equipment in a meaningful way. It certainly matters if you use a Power Drain to get rid of the enemy Warthog dominating the game on Standoff. Likewise, it’s not like there couldn’t be a situation where a Grav Lift would make a flag run significantly shorter. But most of the time, what do you use a piece of Equipment for? You use the Bubble Shield to protect yourself from death. You throw the Power Drain at an opponent to gain an advantage in an encounter. Your Trip Mine rarely manages to hit the incoming Warthog.
>
> As much as there is dislike towards Jetpack, it can have an impact on the game. If there is only one Jetpack on the map, it becomes meaningful to keep its user alive because it offers an advantage to the team as long as the user doesn’t get killed. A Promethean Vision that works like the Overshield and allows the user to see every opponent on the map for X seconds can offer valuable insight to a team that communicates.
>
> These abilities aren’t directly defensive or offensive, but they have potential for real impact. And some of the equipment could have their place, too. For instance, Power Drain would work well as a grenade. But Equipment as they were in Halo 3? Not really a good concept to pursue.

I agree with this.

> Not the whole game, no. But when you want to get a general direction for your overall gameplay to go so that it is competitive and fun to play…why not ask the people that play it most??

Again: Because they know what they like. And what they like may not, and in my book; very likely not, be what everyone likes. I know I wouldn’t play the game they want.

The fact that they spend a lot of time playing the game and are on the forums means they clearly know what they want and are and do express it. But the goal isn’t to build them a game, it’s to build a game that sells at least well enough to warrant continuation of the franchise. And for that they need more than just those players. They need to get and keep the players that don’t come to the forums, who play infrequently for a couple hours, who can’t or don’t know how to express themselves eloquently.

Sometimes I have the impression as if equipment was just put into a new and shiny but undeserved light with the introduction of the “unloved” AAs.

Fundamentally AAs and Equipment are one and the same. Both are personal additional advantages that aid the player when used (properly). The only difference is that equipment is placed on the map while AAs are available at spawn. So far, that is not much of an issue in my opinion.
The deciding factor was their impact on the game though.

Because equipment was placed on the map with a single use its impact on the game was extremely minor and insignificant, why I would even argue that the vast majority would not even have cared when it would have never been seen after Halo 3 in any form.

Now Bungie did the fault that they gave equipment a quite extreme impact on the game with the implementation of AAs in Reach. Disregarding the vastly overpowered ones (namely Armor Lock, Camo, Jetpack), they made them available at spawn plus instead of keeping them single uses they made them unlimited.
Equipment has suddenly turned from something that could easily be forgotten and ignored into something constantly present.
And constantly encountering and countering people’s additional advantages is apparently not really liked by the majority (me included).

I’ve wondered how AAs (implying no overpowered ones) would have been received when they would have just been equipment at spawn, an AA with a single use (or alternatively with limited uses) and the selection would have been limited as well. So instead of selecting out of 5, people could have only selected out of 2 or 3.

So, with that their impact on the game would have only been a little more significant than that of H3’s equipment but not to the extreme extent of Reach’s or H4’s AAs and likely more people would have liked them.

In addition, dare I say it but it often comes up but I could never really follow it, but I think basically is an AA at spawn not any more or less predictable or random than equipment on map.
I think currently there are just too many AAs available at spawn as that someone could bother to fairly predict which one he/she will encounter. You simply lose the overview.

However, AAs/Equipment in their current and former implementations is nothing what I would personally consider a fundamental improvement for an arena shooter.
Stripped down, they are just more additional stuff in the arena sandbox with that a player can get an edge over his/her enemies.
In the form as advantages they add nothing significant or new to the overall gameplay since basically there are already enough of them in the form of power weapons or vehicles.

To close, personally, assuming that the next Halo will be an arena shooter (class based would be a different suggestion) I would like to see a different approach on the topic AAs/Equipment.
Thinking about how they could actually enhance the gameplay instead of enhancing the individual player.
I.e:
Incorporating certain AAs into the design of certain maps or gametypes as inherent gameplay elements.
That could result in something like a map that incorporated Jetpack (or alternatively a modified Thruster Pack) as a default movement mechanic into its design.