Halo 4 and the Ability to Choose

When it all boils down to some of the situations Halo 4 faces it comes down to this. Halo has never really been about choosing the way you play, it’s always been an adapt or not kind of game. Halo 4 changed that by giving the player a lot of ways to play the game. While it was a good thing and probably should’ve been done it also opened the gates to a new host of problems we are now facing.

First, lets focus on the happy. Players now don’t have to adapt to a certain playstyle and can come up with their own. Choosing from a numerous amount of options to have fun. This makes the game more easy and more accessible to all. A lax view of custom game mods makes up for the lack of custom game options as well, and has helped show the community’s more creative side.

Now onto the not so happy. Being accessible has diminished a lot of the competitive nature of Halo. That lack of competition (and the loss of a decent learning curve) has drove out most of the original halo fans and thrown a well balanced game into the crapper. Giving players the ability to spawn with amazing precision and anti-vehicle weapons has also ruined map design.

If there was a way to keep Halo balanced and competitive while still giving people some customization options, I’d like to see it done. But as for now, with 343i doing who-knows-what, the best many can do is hope they can make the right decisions regarding Halo XboxOne

Classic and infinity playlists split into competitive and social since there is competitive people who like infinity as well as classic, the same goes with social.

This way both parties are happy.

If you are referring to right decisions has making the next halos more “classical” then I do not think that will happen . Players like the fact that they can choose what weapons they want to choose ,in their opinion it gives them freedom regardless of the problems that came up. The only thing I think you can hope is if they can put a better traditional playlist than they did team slayer pro( It was AR, BR, DMR starts at the time.)

Ok so how far do we let Halo go down this path of giving players “choice”?

Why restrict players to a certain set of starting weapons? When we could just start with anything we want, such as Rockets and Incineration Cannons.

Why restrict players to having to obtain an Overshield through Personal Ordnance? Let them have the choice of being able to start with it, so that they can use their own “style”.

Why restrict players to starting with only one AA? Let them have all AA’s from the start of the game, so that they can mix it up in their own “style”.

Why restrict players to being vulnerable? Let them have the option to make their Spartan invulnerable, because that may be their “style”. So give them the ability to “choose” that.

It’s easy to see how choice isn’t a good thing by default.
Halo has its own style of gameplay, which limits players to having to use certain skills in order to do well. Skills such as map control.
When you replace these skills with choice, you replace Halo with something that it is not (gameplay wise).

> If there was a way to keep Halo balanced and competitive while still giving people some customization options, I’d like to see it done.

I agree, there is no inherent problem with customization and choice. It is the negative impact that those choices can have (and have had) on the gameplay.
I wouldn’t mind loaouts if the Boltshot, Plasma Pistol and Stickies were not present, and the guns were all perfectly balanced.
I wouldn’t mind AA’s if they were pickups with limited use.

If they were done in this way, then the choice would still be there, but without the negative impacts on the established gameplay identity that Halo already has.

I share your hope that 343 can keep customization in ways that do not nagetively impact the gameplay.

> I share your hope that 343 can keep customization in ways that do not nagetively impact the gameplay.

This. There is nothing inherently wrong with choice, so long as the starting choices are equitable even if different.

And I do think that H4 has too many choices. A few AAs are fine. A few perks are fine. But along with 4 precision, 3 automatic, and 3 sidearm weapons, there are a couple dozen AA / perks as well. There’s no realistic way to make sure that all of the possible combinations are properly balanced, and most of the combinations will go unused anyway (leaving only the OP ones in play).

3 or 4 would be a good number for AAs (TP, hologram, hardlight come to mind), and 2-3 each for tac pacs / support would be good as well (firepower, dexterity, awareness, explosives come to mind). Hopefully no sprint in MM = no need for mobility, and no PV = no need for stealth. Give us back resupply as a standard = no need for resupply. Make flinch go away = no need for stability. Etc.

> I wouldn’t mind loaouts if the Boltshot, Plasma Pistol and Stickies were not present, and the guns were all perfectly balanced.
> I wouldn’t mind AA’s if they were pickups with limited use.

I agree with the first point

Not all AA’s create problems, Hologram, Thruster Pack, etc. Don’t really cause problems, while AC and Jetpack (Promethean Vision is questionable) do. Maybe have some playlists or gametype with one time use AA’s

> Classic and infinity playlists split into competitive and social since there is competitive people who like infinity as well as classic, the same goes with social.
>
> This way both parties are happy.

I don’t divide them by social/competitive, simply classic/infinity. Many players including myself take infinity settings seriously and are as competitive as possible with them.

> > Classic and infinity playlists split into competitive and social since there is competitive people who like infinity as well as classic, the same goes with social.
> >
> > This way both parties are happy.
>
> I don’t divide them by social/competitive, simply classic/infinity. Many players including myself take infinity settings seriously and are as competitive as possible with them.

THIS!

And also have a Social and Ranked for both Infinity and Classic.

It’s not the ability to choose that made the game frustrating. I much rather prefer the map, instead of prefering the starting weapon.

It’s the fact that this game gave infantry too much POWER in those weapons. Want to take out a warthog mowing through your team? Spawn with a Plasma Pistol and a pair of Plasma grenades. You effectively have a rocket launcher. Need to hold out on a position to maintain map control? Spawn with a Boltshot. You got a pocket shotgun that can 1-hit kill anyone that doesn’t come over with Hardlight Shield.

If 343 can actually care about weapon balancing, Primary Weapon selection wouldn’t be a big deal. However, Secondary weapons, and Grenade selections cooperated to take down map flow, give a negative influence on vehicle combat, and made the game feel bad as a whole.

So far, Big Team Slayer showed that if you know how to play with the gun on a map, you can be fine with it. Slayer Pro showed that if a guy knows what he’s doing with that gun, he can be fine with it. It’s the Secondaries and the Grenade selections that is holding down the game, and gives too much power when combined the right way.

They should’ve looked at Gears of War, and why they only allowed players to choose their primary weapons, and not their pistol and grenade. As the only other game that I could think of that is the closest thing to Halo, they should’ve taken cues from them, and expanded upon those ideas, and understand why those devs purposely did those design choices. If I were to innovate upon ideas, I’d look to others similar to my game, and go from there.

Loadouts are fine, but only if done RIGHT. Halo 4 has examples of them working great (in Big Team Slayer, and Slayer Pro), and working against the game(as seen in Infinity Slayer, and BTIS). They should improve upon the Big Team Slayer options by allowing us to only customize our Primary weapon, keep us to Magnum secondaries, Frag grenades, and AAs.

I am not 100% sure if the Tac/Sup packeges should stay as some are OK, while others I’m against. I want to think on them some more before I give my opinion on that feature.

Every Halo has had choice. You could have the Sniper Rifle, the Rocket Launcher, the Overshield, the Active Camo–any player could have whatever they wanted. However, in Halo 4, due to customized loadouts and Personal Ordnance, players are no longer required to fight over these items. This causes two problems:

  1. Teamwork and strategy are no longer as important. Players no longer need to work as a team to secure a particular room or area because of the powerup or power weapon spawn. At the beginning of a Halo 4 match, instead of sticking together and supporting each other to control the powerup or power weapon spawns, everyone splits and does their own thing.

  2. Randomness. It used to be that if I walked by the Rocket Launcher spawn at the beginning of the game, it was gone, and no one on my team had it, I could deduce that someone on the other team had it and plan accordingly. That is gone now. Armor Abilities, perks, and certain weapons and powerups don’t spawn on maps, yet players may have them. It is impossible to account for these variables and therefore impossible to strategize.

> Every Halo has had choice. You could have the Sniper Rifle, the Rocket Launcher, the Overshield, the Active Camo–any player could have whatever they wanted. However, in Halo 4, due to customized loadouts and Personal Ordnance, players are no longer required to fight over these items. This causes two problems:
>
> 1. Teamwork and strategy are no longer as important. Players no longer need to work as a team to secure a particular room or area because of the powerup or power weapon spawn. At the beginning of a Halo 4 match, instead of sticking together and supporting each other to control the powerup or power weapon spawns, everyone splits and does their own thing.
>
> 2. Randomness. It used to be that if I walked by the Rocket Launcher spawn at the beginning of the game, it was gone, and no one on my team had it, I could deduce that someone on the other team had it and plan accordingly. That is gone now. Armor Abilities, perks, and certain weapons and powerups don’t spawn on maps, yet players may have them. It is impossible to account for these variables and therefore impossible to strategize.

1- Every random team that don’t have half a brain has always done that in every Halo game. It’s not just Halo 4 that have this, and is not limited to this series of games either.

2- Mostly true.