Halo 4 - Past, Present and Future

I would like to start off by saying that this is going to be a lengthy thread. I realize not everyone has the time, energy, or desire to read the entire thing. I simply ask that you read as much as you can or want before replying. Thanks.

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We are all fans of Halo. Something about the game lured us into this expansive, dynamic, and fun universe. We all know how it feels to get a double kill when our team needs it the most. We know how much fun it can be getting a rocket launcher or taking command of a scorpion tank. Our universe is unique in the world of gaming and we love it.

I do not care if you are like me and have been here before Halo: Combat Evolved even shipped or if you are new to the community and universe and joined us with Halo 4 (welcome, by the way). I do not care if your K/D ratio is above 3, below .5, or if you only play campaign. We are all fans of the same game. Here comes the proverbial but…

BUT…

Veterans of the series know of something special. We saved Captain Keyes before it was cool, before it was remastered in HD glory. We explored multiplayer maps that have long rested in the graveyard of multiplayer. We saw the Halo 2 E3 debut and looked at dual-wielding in amazement. We saw the ability to hijack ghosts and proclaimed silently (or aloud), “FINALLY!” We super-bounced our way to the top of Ascension (ascending the map???) We mastered BXR (or hated it), we saw the hilarious mods that took place at level 40 and higher.

Our game was the tip of the spear for the FPS genre. We ran the show. Halo 2 was the most populated game on the original Xbox the entire time the game was out until the Xbox 360 released. That is truly mind-boggling and awesome.

But we definitely were divided. People complained each time a new game came out. This is entirely natural, folks. The reaction to Halo 4 is S.S.D.D for us veterans.

We have seen our franchise grow to the juggernaut it became and watched it become a societal phenomenon. Master Chief rose to levels of fame in gaming only Mario and Pokemon have seen. Mario and Pikachu are silly. Master Chief is a flat out beast.

Celebrities attended our midnight launches. Our map packs became full-blown events where people would ditch school and stay home from work to play.

Our custom games had options. Anyone remember Zombies? “I killed that guy like 5 times and he hasn’t changed teams!” If you remember that, I know you either smiled, wanted to smile, or have an attitude problem.

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But the past is past.

Where do we stand now? Unfortunately, the situation has much room for improvement.

Our friends at Bungie have moved on and 343 has taken up the mantle (pun definitely intended). 343 is new at this but they know we are picky. We love our Halo and we love it our way and no one else’s.

  • Guy 1 wants campaign
  • Guy 2 wants matchmaking
  • Girl 1 wants Forge
  • Guy 3 wants competitive balance

…And we all demand it to be as close to perfection as possible.

Halo has fallen from where it once was to where it is now. We sold millions upon millions of copies but gamers return to their Call of Duty to get the coolest killstreak out there. The quickest gratification possible.

Gone are the days where hard work in games (crazy, I know) is rewarded with sheer dominance of the battlefield. Gone are the days where bragging about rank meant something and left you with hundreds of haters.

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If anyone at 343 reads this section right here, allow me to welcome you to caring for this universe we all love. I, for one, feel you did an exceptional job with Halo 4. But I see the path you are taking my game down and I question many decisions.

Don’t worry, I get it. You are a business and want money. We all want some cash, no? With that, you want to appeal to a new crowd of gamer and thus more wallets opening up. Fair enough.

But I am warning you now, 343 Industries, that by changing Halo into what everyone else is doing prevents Halo from being Halo. Halo is the game at E3 where people used to see new, amazing things. Now people look to Call of Duty.

I get it. Call of Duty is fun to a lot of people.

Halo’s prime is gone. We sell a lot of copies, which may be great for you, 343, but my friends list just doesn’t stick around. My buddies I’ve been playing with since Halo 2 Xbox LIVE are GONE. It is legitimately depressing.

Halo was the juggernaut. Now it is the game that is known as the following:

“Halo 4? Pretty cool game, man. But it’s like their copying CoD, ya know?”

I know comparing the two games is a subject of much angst, but it’s true. Halo stopped evolving combat and simply became the follower other games.

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I do love Halo 4. But I know that Halo 5 will be much of the same. It is too late for 343 to turn back. The masses will see it as though they left out of a bunch of features like perks (calling them what they truly are) and will get upset.

It’s a long shot. I know it’s bad for business. But I PROMISE you that Halo will always sell well just off its name alone. Here is my suggestion for when people get mad that it’s more difficult than CoD; for when there is a ranking system that tells you you aren’t the best; for when loadouts are gone and the only thing you can rely on is your brain and your gun. (That’s how it was back in the day, folks.)

My solution…

LET THEM BE UPSET.

Don’t make the game impossible to learn, of course. Add new features, and certainly innovate. But please don’t craft Halo into something it is not.

We were all lured into this captivating universe and I know it can be done again.

Here’s to Halo 4, 343 Industries, and the future of Halo.

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One last thing:

Welcome everyone who is new here. Truly, I welcome you. I hope you have as much fun with Halo as I have over the past 11 years. I’m not done with the series and never will be. I’m playing it to the end.

Just enjoy it.

Keep an open mind. 343 is going to make some moves you aren’t fond of, just like Bungie did with us. But it’s all good in the end.

As long as you are having fun with however you play, competitive, campaign, whatever… as long as you are having fun then let the rest fall into place.

Amen. Sir you’ve blown my mind.

I call the current age the impatient age.

Some players get angry when they can’t hold a weapon spawn, or memorise weapon spawns/times on the maps: enter the unfortunate introduction of ordnance drops. Some players don’t want to wait in respawn for 8 seconds because they deserved to for losing an encounter, and giving the opponent an advantage: enter the ability for players to instantly respawn. Some players doesn’t enjoy starting equal and knowing that when they come out of a 1 v 1 encounter, they did so because of their skill at that point in time: enter custom loadouts and perks. Some players even want instant gratification to the point of having completely redundant medals (generic kill? I thought the purpose of getting a medal was for doing something extraordinary): enter the removal of in-game visible ranks and their progression system replacement.

@ Platypus -

Thank you, and nice armor.

@ Zealot -

I agree. It truly is all about that instant gratification. I do believe, though, that this trend will die away eventually and the next developer to break that trend will have the next blockbuster title.

I want that “someone” to be 343 Industries.

> I agree. It truly is all about that instant gratification. I do believe, though, that this trend will die away eventually and the next developer to break that trend will have the next blockbuster title.
>
> I want that “someone” to be 343 Industries.

I sure hope so. The problem with instant gratification (be it ordnance drops, instant respawn, etc) is that teamwork is becoming more and more of a thing of the past. Let’s take a map like Exile as an example:

A pseudo-donut shaped map with a filling of AA’s, random weapons due to ordnance, and vehicles. No team controls a base, no team fights for weapon respawns, and no teams work together. So it’s a 16 player, lone-wolfing contest in order to unlock the next gimmicky reward, because it comes so easily. Help the team win? What for? There’s no penalty for losing a game and I’ll progress even if I lose. There’s no penalty for dying because my ordnance bar doesn’t reset. And besides, I need to get all those splatters with the ghost for that next armour unlock, man!

> > I agree. It truly is all about that instant gratification. I do believe, though, that this trend will die away eventually and the next developer to break that trend will have the next blockbuster title.
> >
> > I want that “someone” to be 343 Industries.
>
> I sure hope so. The problem with instant gratification (be it ordnance drops, instant respawn, etc) is that teamwork is becoming more and more of a thing of the past. Let’s take a map like Exile as an example:
>
> A pseudo-donut shaped map with a filling of AA’s, random weapons due to ordnance, and vehicles. No team controls a base, no team fights for weapon respawns, and no teams work together. So it’s a 16 player, lone-wolfing contest in order to unlock the next gimmicky reward, because it comes so easily. Help the team win? What for? There’s no penalty for losing a game and I’ll progress even if I lose. There’s no penalty for dying because my ordnance bar doesn’t reset. And besides, I need to get all those splatters with the ghost for that next armour unlock, man!

Awesome. That donut filling analogy is quite nice. I like that!

Truly inspirational. I hope 343 sees this

Sup viper! I agree with you for the most part. However, I don’t think that the CoDesque additions should necessarily be removed. Loadouts themselves are in my opinion not a bad addition, but the effects they would have in t here current implementation were not taken into account (I.e. sticky grenades and plasma pistols for everybody) and now 343 has to move to correct this oversight and from what they’ve said regarding the upcoming Update that is happening. The perks weren’t really all that drastic of a change, and I find that they generally don’t make too big of an impact on gameplay. Looking on however, I don’t believe that 343 should give them more power or effectiveness than they already have. As is, they can give a slight edge in specific situations, but they shouldn’t get any push to be stronger, or else they will modify gameplay too drastically. For example, the perks you find in CoD that modify how damage is dealt/recieved or ranges for weapons or melee have no place in halo in my opinion. The only reason the explosives one doesn’t bother me is because the difference is hardly noticeable from what i can tell. If anything, I’d take the resistance out of that perk in the future. Damage modification should be left to power ups. The AA’s are more balanced as well, with camo really being the only one to draw any significant fire.

Ordinance drops, particularly personal ones, were a great addition in my opinion, however I feel they should have been regulated to more off support and sustain role, providing new primary weapons, ammo, and grenades as choices, and having power ups and power weapons as either map spawns only or as later ordinance drops earned in the second or third drop accessible. Even then they shouldn’t be super abundant, and maybe as a result could stand to not disappear after sitting on the ground for five seconds.

Hey skycap!

I agree with you. Call of duty additions aren’t a bad thing in of themselves. And I do think they can be handled differently at the same time. The way halo 4 went about it was a blatant rip off from their ideas it turned me away.

They didn’t even try to hide things like spartan ops being inspired by spec ops. And inspiration is a good thing I agree but the point of my thread mostly was to make sure that, through being inspired, don’t forget halo. Don’t forget what brought us all here.

New things aren’t bad. We have seen plenty of them over the years. But throwing in things like universal sprint and instant spawning and assuming it will transition fine is a mistake on their part.