Discussion on THE precision weapon in Halo 4.

We all know what THE precision weapon is. In Reach it’s known as the Designated Marksman Rifle, in Halo 2 and 3 it was known as the Battle Rifle, and in Halo CE it was the Pistol. I’ve invited you all here today to partake in a serious discussion on a very VERY important topic that WILL impact the success of Halo 4. It is matter of greatest importance. This topic is “THE precision weapon and how it should be implemented in Halo 4.”

I’ll be honest. I don’t know how it should be implemented, but I do know that this is a discussion that has to be had if Halo 4 is to be successful. I’d like to bring up a few points to get us started and I expect that you all will take it from there. This might begin like those awkward class discussions where your high school English teacher forced each and every student to make at least one comment on that Shakespearean classic nobody bothered to read, but I know that it will slowly(but surely) evolve into a constructive debate among educated and noteworthy scholars.

Alright, let’s get started:

  1. Kill Times
    We all know that competitive people like faster kill times. Each and every Halo has progressively gotten slower and thus the competitive people have gotten progressively angrier. Why? Why was Bungie so intent on slowing down the game. Most people point to the growing casual audience and say that Bungie was simply trying to make the game a little bit easier for them while ignoring the whims of the super duper hardcore audience. So the key here is finding a compromise between the casual and the hardcore right? I’m gonna take a somewhat educated guess at what the kill times should be for THE precision weapon in Halo 4. How about a 4 shot kill weapon with a slightly lower kill time than Halo 3’s BR, but also a slightly longer kill time than Halo 2’s BR?

How fast is too fast? When will the Hardcore audience be satisfied? Can the casuals keep up with fast paced games?

  1. Skill Gap
    We know that the main starting weapon for competitive Halo needs a large skill gap. So basically the guy who knows what he’s doing should kill the guy that doesn’t know what he’s doing. So how do we go about enlarging it? Bungie tried bloom with the DMR and we all know how that turned out for us competitive folks. Instead of adding in extra mechanics for people to learn and complain about. Why don’t we just tone down the aim assist a bit?

How would YOU go about enlarging the skill gap?

  1. Limiting its effectiveness
    For some reason or the other people seem to be under the impression that it’s a bad thing to have a starting weapon that works in every situation. Isn’t that sort of the point of the starting weapon? Wasn’t that how CE worked? Didn’t we all spawn with a “god” pistol? Don’t most people agree that CE had the best multiplayer of the series?

Whether or not I believe it’s necessary is a different story, but since it’s such a widespread belief nowadays I have good reason to believe that 343i will try to implement a restriction on THE precision weapon is one form or another. If they do decide that some sort of limitation of H4’s precision weapon is necessary I want them to know what’s reasonable and what’s not. Bungie tried limiting the precision weapon multiple times. In Halo 3 they implemented the BR spread to limit the BRs effectiveness at extremely long ranges and in Reach they implemented bloom to limit the DMR’s effectiveness at shorter ranges. Both of those mechanics were hated by large portions of the community and for good reasons.

What is a good way to prevent Halo 4’s precision weapon from becoming too powerful? How can we prevent crossmapping and other things of a similar nature?

Discuss!

Just a reminder: I’ve already confessed (at the top of the post) that I don’t really know what I’m talking about. The three points I’ve highlighted are merely things that I feel are especially important to creating a fun and skillful precision weapon in Halo 4. I’m really looking for YOUR answers to the questions posed at the bottom of each section rather than comments on my own solutions. Both are welcome. Just hoping to start some hardcore constructive discussion on the topic at hand.

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Great post.

as for me, I’d love to see the BR return.

But THE precision weapon for me will be the sniper, but sniping shouldn’t be as easy as in reach.
even blind people can get a headshot now.

Whatever they do they should not put a scope more than 2.5x on it. I always go back to the E3 demo of Halo 2 when the BR shot a single round at that rof. I think it would be awesome if it had a 20 round mag and killed in 6 shots. I would pull it up but I’m too lazy. Just my 2 cents.

Disagree. One weapon for all situations was a disaster. Nobody would use any other weapon, making the game boring and stale. And in games where the BR wasn’t a starter weapon? Anyone who DID manage to find one was a god.

I enjoyed the DMR approach to things.

I want to see a BR like in halo 2, Hitscan, no limited spread like in halo 3 so that the skill gap is a skill gap and not a host/luck gap. As for kill times i agree on 4 shots at a pace between halo 2 and halo 3. also i wouldnt mind to be able to bxr again

Halo 2 BR please.

I would like to see the “God” pistol return.If not that, then the Halo 2 br would also be fine.

> Disagree. One weapon for all situations was a disaster. Nobody would use any other weapon, making the game boring and stale. And in games where the BR wasn’t a starter weapon? Anyone who DID manage to find one was a god.
>
> I enjoyed the DMR approach to things.

But isn’t it still like that? I never find myself dropping my DMR for anything. Not even a power weapon. I’ll drop my pistol, but never my DMR. If I’m in a situation where I can pickup two power weapons I always hesitate because if I’m caught at midrange or even long range I’ll probably be defenseless. Rockets, Shotgun, Hammers, and Swords will help me at short range, but the DMR is always going to be the best weapon to defend myself at mid-long range.

I also don’t understand why you find that it makes the game boring and stale just because players are probably going to be coming at you with another DMR. I’d just be frustrated that things were decided more by bloom than player skill. If H4’s precision weapon had a skill gap I would be having a blast because each battle would be decided by who was smarter and more skilled. I wouldn’t be bothered that he’s not coming at me with a Plasma Repeater because each and every engagement would come down to a variety of a different number situations.

One thing I disagree with is that longer kill times create for a worse competitve game when in fact it is the opposite. Super quick kill times like we see in alot of FPs’s these days removes the opportunity for in depth encounters. The things that make Reach a worse competitve Halo game than previous ones is NOT longer kill times but the game mechanics.

The precision weapon in Halo off spawn needs three things:

  1. Low aim assist,

  2. Pin-point accuracy to reward perfect aim and eliminate randomness. Obvious way to do this is to have a static reticle with no random spread.

  3. It needs to be a utility weapon capable of competing at all combat ranges in Halo, but not hold the advantage over niche weapons in their effective combat niches but be capable of winning at any range with close to perfect accuracy. It also needs to be able to keep power weapons in check, even the rocket launcher to prevent the opening rush for power weapons playing too large a role in who wins the game.

Kill time should be dependent on the rest of the Sandbox, but something close to the H2 BR only a single-shot weapon would be optimal to allow for team-shot but not too much where you are on reliant on your teammates and to devalue positioning.

Follow those guidelines for the utility weapon in Halo and you cannot go wrong.

> I would like to see the “God” pistol return.If not that, then the Halo 2 br would also be fine.

Agreed, provided a small hitbox on the BR.

God pistol>all

> One thing I disagree with is that longer kill times create for a worse competitve game when in fact it is the opposite. Super quick kill times like we see in alot of FPs’s these days removes the opportunity for in depth encounters. The things that make Reach a worse competitve Halo game than previous ones is NOT longer kill times but the game mechanics.

When you say “other FPS’s” I’m going to guess you mean CoD. Let’s get a few things straight here. In CoD it doesn’t take skill to get a quick kill. In Halo it does or at least should. Getting a 3sk with a pistol was not something everyone could do. Secondly, the reason CoD’s “super fast killtimes” actually slow down gameplay than speed it up is because of first, the point mentioned above and second, you spawn with all the weapons you need and all you need to do is find a decent setup and stay put.

I’d also like to point out that this thing about in-depth encounters is not all that accurate either. All it really means is that the guy that got outplayed is going to have longer to run somewhere where I can’t chase him because his team will be there to kill me. And no that doesn’t mean it’s encouraging teamwork. Quite the opposite actually. It’s just making it easier for people who aren’t paying attention to succeed. Either way, when both teams are at high levels, that situation would happen way too frequently.

> Halo 2 BR please.

Well, Frankie and 343 keep calling the CE pistol overpowered for some reason, so I guess we can rule that gun out. The BR is pretty likely to return, either in its Halo 2 format or Halo 3 format. Personally, I don’t care if it has hitscan or not. I just don’t want to see bloom or anything above a 4SK.

  1. Make the average kill time long enough for casuals, but make the minimum kill time much faster ala Halo CE.

  2. Agreed

  3. Cross mapping isn’t a problem. If you get 4 shot BR’d from cross map and you have a sniper, you have bad positioning or suck with the sniper. Also, proper map design should help this, as would shortening kill times because then the game wouldn’t revolve around team shooting.

> > One thing I disagree with is that longer kill times create for a worse competitve game when in fact it is the opposite. Super quick kill times like we see in alot of FPs’s these days removes the opportunity for in depth encounters. The things that make Reach a worse competitve Halo game than previous ones is NOT longer kill times but the game mechanics.
>
> When you say “other FPS’s” I’m going to guess you mean CoD. Let’s get a few things straight here. In CoD it doesn’t take skill to get a quick kill. In Halo it does or at least should. Getting a 3sk with a pistol was not something everyone could do. Secondly, the reason CoD’s “super fast killtimes” actually slow down gameplay than speed it up is because of first, the point mentioned above and second, you spawn with all the weapons you need and all you need to do is find a decent setup and stay put.
>
> I’d also like to point out that this thing about in-depth encounters is not all that accurate either. All it really means is that the guy that got outplayed is going to have longer to run somewhere where I can’t chase him because his team will be there to kill me. And no that doesn’t mean it’s encouraging teamwork. Quite the opposite actually. It’s just making it easier for people who aren’t paying attention to succeed. Either way, when both teams are at high levels, that situation would happen way too frequently.

Well certainly there is more depth to encounters when it isnt whoever sees who first dies correct? Halo has always had a fairly good balance of kill times where if a enemy makes a bad decision(ie: runs out in the open with enemies nearby) he usually will die but it isnt a whoever sees who first dies FPS which allows for in depth encounters. Bungie knows this so they added in AA’s to try to add more depth to the encounters which is good, however kill times with reticle bloom was then too slow which made the AA’s more as crutches rather than enhancing encounters. With the removal of the reticle bloom on the DMR the movement AA’s(not jetpack its still horrible) will have to be used more strategically and Reach will be a much better competitve FPS.

I would of rather seen a overall increase in default movement speed rather than AA’s like sprint as I feel it would of accomplished the same thing only it would be perfectly symmetrically balanced and game pace would increase.

Question: why does it have to be just one weapon? Why not include multiple weapons introduced to the Halo sandbox over the years and balance them accordingly?

Consider this: we could have a BR-type weapon (capable of 2X zoom burst fire) that is most effective at close-mid to mid-range encounters. The DMR (or something similar with 3X zoom, single shot) could make a return and fit into the medium to long range area. The magnum should return and dominate close-range encounters while maintaining mid-range capabilities.

By tweaking to rate of fire and shots to kill for each weapon as well as the levels of aim assist and bullet magnetism due to target range, they can all be effective and used in harmony. For example, the BR could be the most versatile weapon while being the clear choice for mid-range combat. The DMR would have mid-range capability but dominate long range. The pistol would trump all at close range while putting up a fight at mid-range but would lose effectiveness past that.

This may allow people to develop strategies around the guns they pick up. One may elect to carry a pistol for closer targets and keep a DMR for any cross-map encounters. There are plenty of possibilities and I believe Halo should not be reduced to single-weapon encounters all the time.

On a slight tangent, I think we should have access to multiple pistols (CE, H2, H3:ODST) assuming they are balanced correctly. The kill times need to be adjusted to reflect their respective optimal ranges, but that is for another time.

> > I would like to see the “God” pistol return.If not that, then the Halo 2 br would also be fine.
>
> Agreed, provided a small hitbox on the BR.
>
> God pistol>all

I agree with this as well. Bu tthey have to make the rest of the sandbox usefull. Halo doesnt need anymore CE Needlers or H3 plasma pistols

> >
>
> Great post.
>
> as for me, I’d love to see the BR return.
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> But THE precision weapon for me will be the sniper, but sniping shouldn’t be as easy as in reach.
> even blind people can get a headshot now.

in a way i want it to be easy to snipe because if the siniper on your team cant snipe then you have one less player and no snper… noobs will go after it, just let em snipe so u get some support

I’ve never understood why we can’t have two precision weapons: A mid-range pistol and a long-range rifle. The key difference between the two would be RoF, Accuracy, Recoil rate, and clip size.

The Pistol would excel at short-mid range fighting because of an higher RoF than the rifle, but have a slightly lower clip, and much more recoil. The recoil increase would make it much less effective at long range. In addition, at absolute long-range (Teleporter to Teleporter on Blood Gulch), the Pistol would begin to lose accuracy along with the player having to deal with Recoil.

The Rifle would excel at long range because it would have very little recoil, but the RoF would be slightly less than the Pistol, making it a purely mid-long range weapon. The increased clip would also give it a slight advantage in a pure bullet-spray match. The Rifle would be absolutely precise, giving it a more accurate shot at longer ranges, where it is supposed to overpower the Pistol.

Balancing the two like this would create a slight rock and paper scenario. You probably shouldn’t bring a Rifle to a Pistol fight, and vice versa. However, should the two end up in a mid-range battle, they would be fairly equivalent, giving only a slight advantage to the Pistol user. Keep in mind, though, that the Pistol user would have to deal with more recoil, giving the Rifleman an advantage in aiming and control.

The only catch to the system is that the Pistol would be able to fight at Rifle range, but only be effective if the lesser skilled player was using the Rifle, and an expert was handling the Pistol. With two evenly skilled players, the Rifle would be more effective at long range, and the Pistol would be more effective at mid-close range.

I don’t see an issue with that system at all, especially if we have Individual Weapon Traits available to us in Halo 4, so we can just edit out these changes should we chose to.