Halo 5 Needs More Than More Of The Same

… Don’t throw things at me! The title is slightly misleading.

I intend for this to be a useful, constructive thread which details perhaps a rather neglected issue with Halo 4.
As is usually the case when I make a thread, this is something I’ve found myself talking about quite a bit recently.

The Problem?
In my opinion, one of the major problems with Halo 4 multiplayer is that it doesn’t do enough to bring anything really new and exciting to the table.
We have had plenty of changes, but have they really given us that much which we haven’t had before? Here’s what I mean:

Personal Ordnance
Gives us weapons and powerups more often and more easily than usual.
What’s actually new? - The fact that we can press a button on the D-pad to gain them, as opposed to picking them up from different areas on the maps.

Perks
Give us more grenades, more sprint, more ability to escape doomed vehicles etc.
What’s actually new? The fact that we press a few buttons in the menu, as opposed to picking up grenades, or jumping out of a vehicle when we sense danger.

Sprint
Gives us more forward movement.
What’s actually new? Forced weapon lowering and a lack of indefinite movement at top speed.

Flinch
This one doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but rather takes something away, and that something is de-scope.

The new weapons and vehicles
Most of the new weapons are doubles of existing Halo weapons in their function, but with new designs.
Even something like the Boltshot is essentially giving us two existing weapons in one: a Pistol and a Shotgun.

I must be fair to the Rail Gun, which does work in a way which is unique to the other weapons.
I must also be fair to the Pulse Grenade, which doesn’t act like any grenade we’ve had in Halo.
As for vehicles, the Mantis is another example of a genuinely new addition to the franchise; it doesn’t function like anything we’ve had before, despite any current balance issues.

My Point?
For me, most of the additions/evolutions made to Halo with Halo 4 do not seem to be genuinely new in any way which I consider to be exciting and fresh. Most are gameplay changing, as opposed to gameplay enhancing.
Notice how a lot of the new features are just new ways of giving us what we already have, but more frequently and with more ease.

This part is very important: You may be thinking that I’m saying these kinds of evolutions are bad, but I’m not. My problem is not with evolutions which give us more of what we have, but with the fact that they hugely outnumber evolutions which give us new toys to play with.
After all, Dual-wielding just gave us more of what we already had, and I’ve never been against that.

And it doesn’t just apply to multiplayer either. Let’s look at what each main Halo game offered us in the way of genuinely new and exciting evolutions:

  • Halo CE started it all, and gave us the unique style of gameplay and weapon sandbox which I’m sure most of us love.
  • Halo 2 gave us online multiplayer, among other things, which was absolutely huge.
  • Halo 3 gave us Forge and Theater.

Halo 4?.. Spartan Ops

Now I don’t hate the idea of Spartan Ops, in fact I loved the first episode and the last few episodes, though I’m not a fan of recycled maps and objectives, but that’s another issue.
The thing about Spartan Ops is that it just gives us more of what we already had; it is like a mix of short Campaign missions and Firefight.

So even outside of multiplayer, I feel that Halo 4 suffers from the same problem.

Conclusion
Halo 4 doesn’t give us quite enough in the way of significantly new features, which aren’t new twists on things we already had, and this is a problem which is especially true within multiplayer.
I believe that this is a major reason for Halo 4 flopping as far as online population goes, and I think that Halo 5 should look to learn two things from this:

1. Within multiplayer, while it is perfectly fine to give us new features/weapons that give us more of what we’ve already had, with minor changes in the implementation; I think that it is incredibly important to give us new things (not more of the same) which evolve gameplay in signicant ways, while keeping core gameplay in check.
What are these new features? I don’t have a clue yet, but that’s part of the magic.

2. Outside of multiplayer, we need something which is genuinely new and brings a new way of having fun to the franchise. Look to how Forge and Theater succeeded at doing this. Forge let us create maps, and Theater let us re-watch our gameplay; both of which were 100% new ways of having fun in Halo at the time.

Halo 2 added dual-wielding and vehicle boarding.

Halo 3 added equipment, Forge, Theater, and file sharing.

Halo: Reach added Armor Abilities.

Halo 4 didn’t implement any gameplay mechanics in multiplayer that haven’t been done before, either in previous Halo games or in other games exactly the same way.

> Halo 2 added dual-wielding and vehicle boarding.
>
> Halo 3 added equipment, Forge, Theater, and file sharing.
>
> Halo: Reach added Armor Abilities.
>
> Halo 4 didn’t implement any gameplay mechanics in multiplayer that haven’t been done before, either in previous Halo games or in other games exactly the same way.

I hate to nit-pick at the smallest of things (don’t hate me for this), but technically, Personal Ordnance is a new mechanic; it just doesn’t bring anything significant which is new to the table, as we’ve had weapons and powerups from day one.

That’s just semantics though, and I completely agree with the point you’re making.

Edit: I just realised that you said “either in previous Halo games or in other games”, which makes this particular post redundant. Silly me.

My opinion on the matter

Personal ordnance: adds more excitement to the game and players see guns they normally don’t on a given map, which is cool. who doesn’t think “yes!” when they hear ordnance ready?

Perks: allows players to enhance their natural play style to the fullest. not everyone has a heavy grenade oriented play style of resupply/explosives. its good there are now options for every kind of player.

Sprint: you can get around faster, get to a power weapon that dropped easier, get back and help your team faster, get to a better position and escape danger, just an all around useful and necessary tool. campaign and Sops would stink without it too.

flinch: you don’t need to scope in a dozen times every ranged battle which is great, ranged battles are resolved in a much more timely manner, its not such a jarring game experience, and with descope back that would be a huge slap to the face of a few guns like my favorite the light rifle.

new vehicles and weapons: I like all of them this is were halo 4 imo did an amazing job. that was one of my BIGGEST gripes about past halos was the TERRIBLE lack of weapon variety. The extent of it was whatever the standard rifle is, (BR DMR) the rocket launcher, the sniper, sword/shotgun. that was it.

all these changes I think made halo better.

> My opinion on the matter
>
> Personal ordnance: adds more excitement to the game and players see guns they normally don’t on a given map, which is cool. who doesn’t think “yes!” when they hear ordnance ready?

The only reason I think “yes!” When I hear “Ordnance ready”, is because it is my only option for getting weapons in Halo 4.
It is the weapons themselves which create any excitement, not the opportunity to press a button the the D-pad. And weapons are not unique to Personal Ordnance, so that isn’t really an argument in favour of them.

> Perks: allows players to enhance their natural play style to the fullest. not everyone has a heavy grenade oriented play style of resupply/explosives. its good there are now options for every kind of player.

If by enhance, you mean ‘aid’, then yes. But that’s all perks do, they give you more of what is already available, but with more ease.

They don’t enhance play style, they actually detract from what we would usually be doing.
For example, if you are a vehicle type of person, and you use the perk which automatically ejects you from the vehicle (I forget the name), then that’s all it does; it certainly doesn’t add to your opportunities as a vehicle person.

Let’s look at the perk for extra grenades; it gives you something for free which you already had the chance to obtain through map control. It certainly doesn’t add anything to your skill set, or opportunities as a grenade user.

To say that perks enhance anything, is actually a fallacy if we are using the word enhance to mean anything other than ‘aid’.

> Halo 2 added dual-wielding and vehicle boarding.
>
> Halo 3 added equipment, Forge, Theater, and file sharing.
>
> Halo: Reach added Armor Abilities.
>
> Halo 4 didn’t implement any gameplay mechanics in multiplayer that haven’t been done before, either in previous Halo games or in other games exactly the same way.

Most if not all of what you listed are in games that came out before even the first halo.

Halo 4 auto pick up .

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy did we need this

were kids really like how do you pick this thing up - quick someone Google how to pick the flag up Ohhhhh that how

sorry im no help

You make an excellent point, but I feel this is more of a matter of perspective. And this begs the question, how can you make something “feel” new to EVERYBODY (without significantly changing the core gameplay)? Does this become impossible after a while? A lot of Halo 4’s features actually felt new to me, though not necessarily better. This is a reason I stopped playing months ago.

> You make an excellent point, but I feel this is more of a matter of perspective. And this begs the question, how can you make something “feel” new to EVERYBODY (without significantly changing the core gameplay)? Does this become impossible after a while? A lot of Halo 4’s features actually felt new to me, though not necessarily better. This is a reason I stopped playing months ago.

The features certainly felt new, no doubt about that, but I’m not really arguing against that.

Let’s take Flinch for example: it feels incredibly different to de-scope, but does it really bring anything significantly new to the table with respect to giving us unique ways to control the outcome of the game, while harnessing new skills?

It doesn’t give us new opportunities, or new ways to approach the game, but instead, it strips away a layer of skill which was required while shooting/being shot, which isn’t exactly the most appropriate or innovative form of “new”.

Can this type of “new” be done without straying from core gameplay? Of course! Games are always doing this.
I’m sure it’s challenging to achieve, but games designers are getting played for something.

Does it become impossible after a while? Most likely, but I can’t see how Halo is at that point yet. If it seems like a monumental task to us, I think that’s because we aren’t creative games designers.
Games are always innovating in ways that I couldn’t even have perceived would work, and I don’t think Halo is any different; they just need to figure out what can be done.

> Halo 4 auto pick up .
>
> Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy did we need this
>
> were kids really like how do you pick this thing up - quick someone Google how to pick the flag up Ohhhhh that how
>
>
>
> sorry im no help

Why can’t I stop laughing?

Regardless. I believe that, like you said, Halo 4 didn’t bring anything truly new to the table besides Spartan Ops. All it really did was make some awful changes to an almost-perfect formula. I didn’t feel the innovation jumps I felt like in 3 to Reach. Whatever it did innovate, I felt, was for the worse.

> Within multiplayer, while it is perfectly fine to give us new features/weapons that give us more of what we’ve already had, with minor changes in the implementation; I think that it is incredibly important to give us new things (not more of the same) which evolve gameplay in significant ways, while keeping core gameplay in check.
> What are these new features? I don’t have a clue yet,
> but that’s part of the magic.

You are being rather ignorant to the fact that the people producing this game are just that, people, like yourself. You are essentially asking 343 to jump through a dog-sized ring of fire without getting burnt. Even you (blindly) found out how hard it is to do such a task when you said, “I don’t have a clue”.

Im not saying I disagree with you on the point, but in halo 4’s case, it wasnt the lack of innovation that caused the population drop, it was the incompleteness of the entire game.

> You are being rather ignorant to the fact that the people producing this game are just that, people, like yourself.

What on Earth are you talking about?

In what way does this thread assume that 343 are not people?

> You are essentially asking 343 to jump through a dog-sized ring of fire without getting burnt.

Again, what on Earth are you talking about?
I’m pointing out what I perceive to be a rather large problem with Halo 4, and one of the main problems I have with the game.

I’m asking them to do too much am I? Sorry for asking that the people making Halo try to innovate a little more; I must be a terrible person.

> Even you (blindly) found out how hard it is to do such a task when you said, “I don’t have a clue”.

Why do you feel the need to throw in the word “blindly”? You are obviously out to devalue what I’ve done with this thread.
Think about what you’re saying for just one second. You’re saying that because I can’t create an innovative AAA game, therefore a massive studio with industry veterans and a whole bunch of time can’t either.
I mean there’s nonsense, and then there’s this.

> Im not saying I disagree with you on the point, but in halo 4’s case, it wasnt the lack of innovation that caused the population drop, it was the incompleteness of the entire game.

He says, as if to suggest that it isn’t possible for more than one flaw to be responsible for the population drop.

I’m sorry but I don’t see what your post brings of any value to the discussion. You’ve accused me of being ignorant and blind, simply for asking for more of proffesional developers than I could personally make out of a game.

I understand what you mean. The changes that 343 made to Halo 4 have had a huge impact on the community and sadly, a lot dislike it. I still enjoy playing Halo 4 and in my opinion, it’s probably the best Halo game out.

Halo 3 is fun but I live in Australia and lag a lot :l That’s not so fun hehe

I think it’s just Halo 4 has had so much stuff implemented into it so fast that not everyone enjoys so much change from just one game. Sure, some of the new stuff that has been added is basically the same but just…more advanced? There are so many games that have been released with almost the same mechanics involved.

Halo 3 pretty much perfected Theatre and Forge. Halo 4…not so good however. You can’t even record films in Spartans Ops or Campaign. I had some fun laughing at fails in Campaign and they took that away from us.

Forging is nearly impossible on every map. It’s just so squishy and not much room to add stuff. Maps in Halo 3 like Foundry, Sandbox…and maybe Sandtrap were awesome forging maps. I probably shouldn’t forget to say that Halo 3 easily had the best maps. Halo Reach and Halo 4 have some decent ones too.

I also disliked the fact the Halo 4 offline is somewhat boring. Halo Reach had Firefight and Forge World which created a lot more time playing where as Halo 4 only had Campaign; which was really short.

Halo 4 is a great game but small things like this will make people frustrated and will just end up leaving. I’ve said this before but 343 should make a gametype where it’s only Halo 3 mechanics. So, no sprint, no armour abilities, no reticle, no ordnance etc etc and I still beat the community will complain. It’s just silly :smiley:

> I understand what you mean. The changes that 343 made to Halo 4 have had a huge impact on the community and sadly, a lot dislike it. I still enjoy playing Halo 4 and in my opinion, it’s probably the best Halo game out.

Fair enough.

It’s rare to find a person who has Halo 4 as their favourite Halo game, but can also admit that some of the changes are very problematic.
I think if there’s anything 343 can learn from Halo 4 that they actually did mostly right, it’s the Campaign.

> Halo 3 is fun but I live in Australia and lag a lot :l That’s not so fun hehe

Haha I get that. I’m in England and host is alien to me.

> I think it’s just Halo 4 has had so much stuff implemented into it so fast that not everyone enjoys so much change from just one game. Sure, some of the new stuff that has been added is basically the same but just…more advanced? There are so many games that have been released with almost the same mechanics involved.

Yeah I feel like there should have been at least one or two additions which were not new takes on previous things, but were completely new in their impact on gameplay. That’s basically the point of this thread, and I’m very hopeful that the Xbox One will allow for more significant additions to the franchise.

> I also disliked the fact the Halo 4 offline is somewhat boring. Halo Reach had Firefight and Forge World which created a lot more time playing where as Halo 4 only had Campaign; which was really short.

Definitely, that’s part of what I’m saying as well. I think that Halo 4 could have been so much better with a new mode outside of multiplayer, which wasn’t just a slightly new take on the same gamepaly we’ve had for years, which is how I view Spartan Ops.

I think that hardware limitations are probably mostly to blame for this, so I can forgive them for not being able to achieve such a thing. Though I think they should know that it’s important for the future of Halo.

> Halo 4 is a great game but small things like this will make people frustrated and will just end up leaving. I’ve said this before but 343 should make a gametype where it’s only Halo 3 mechanics. So, no sprint, no armour abilities, no reticle, no ordnance etc etc and I still beat the community will complain. It’s just silly :smiley:

Of course, cause its Halo 4 and not Halo 3. People want the ranks, the core play and the competitive fairness of Halo 3 back, not Halo 3 itself. A lot of people cant see that and think the people are “stuck in the past”

I just hope 343 sees that they have to bring the core gameplay back. They can and should make new additions, but keep the core gameplay, its what most people always loved about Halo.

> Im not saying I disagree with you on the point, but in halo 4’s case, it wasnt the lack of innovation that caused the population drop, it was the incompleteness of the entire game.

-Yoink-. The campaign was probably only one of the two or three truly satisfying campaigns we’ve had in this entire series and for whatever we lost in mere options we certainly gained in a much more usable forge mode (where even someone like myself can make a good looking map without spending hours -Yoinking!- about with object parameters.) Halo 4’s “downfall” is precisely that it didn’t do enough to change itself. How can I say that with such certainty? Look at the market, look at the world beyond the little purview of this forum. No shooter has succeed in at least the past 5 years by using Halo’s formula because people generally aren’t as interested in it as they were in 2004.

Sure, you’ll still see decent sales of Space Marine (Warhammer 40k) and good sales of the newer Halo’s but the multiplayer communities don’t have nearly as much force behind them because the key element of motivation isn’t there. Why? Well one may be able to point out a cultural shift in the FPS genre to other modes of gameplay (and those will soon change again with the next gen and delivery of the MMO FPS) but another key detail is the fact that Halo hasn’t changed all that much in 10 years. Small bits of gameplay have certainly shifted around and in some cases the balance has swung wildly but squint your eyes a bit when driving a wraith around SOPS and you can more or less fool yourself into believing you’re playing Halo 2 because the fundamental elements of what you’re doing, with what, and how have remained the same over all this time. The scale of combat, the types of weapons involved, the core level design, it’s all so conservative (compared to the CE->2 changeover) that a good mod team could probably work all these years of change into Halo 2 Vista with only a minor loss in graphical fidelity to mark the transition.

Granted it’s certainly more technical than that but the fact that by all appearances we’ve been screwing around dot releases of Halo 2 for most of this series is part and parcel to why Halo games just can’t hold the same audience that they once did. It’s all just reruns of one core show and for the ambassador of the scifi FPS to take such an unambitious approach to it’s own colossal success may also be a contributing factor to the decay of the genre overall. Where you should see great strives forward powered by massive amounts of money, you see timid steps and unfortunately that just sets up a pattern in either the developers or the community to build or expect the same.

> Halo 4’s “downfall” is precisely that it didn’t do enough to change itself. How can I say that with such certainty? Look at the market, look at the world beyond the little purview of this forum. No shooter has succeed in at least the past 5 years by using Halo’s formula because people generally aren’t as interested in it as they were in 2004.

You know what would be really awesome? If Halo 5’s default multiplayer settings play more like “classic” settings, yet becomes wildly popular and much more successful than Halo 4. Then when people come on the forums and complain that they no longer can do x that was included in Halo 4, we can just tell them to “adapt to modern standards,” “this is 2014, not 2012,” or “if you want Halo 4, just play Halo 4.”

But I wouldn’t do that because I’m not inconsiderate.

/: It feels like you are over simplifying to me. I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you. When i first sat down with halo 4 everything felt new. From the POD to how the human shotgun feels.

I really don’t think it matters wether something is completely new or if it just feels new. As long as people find it fun i don’t see a problem. We are on the brink of 2014, It’s kind of hard to make a brand new MP experience. Especially with an established franchise that’s been around for a decade. As someone pointed out earlier in this thread and something i have also stated.

Almost everything halo brought to the table has been seen in games before it’s time. For instance there was a Wolverine video game that featured the idea of regenerating health before halo CE came out. Not to get off topic but this is exactly why i dislike when people point out features in halo 4 looking similar cod. Games take ideas from eachother all the time. All this leaves is that it’s coming from cod which is some how a bad thing. But i digress.
Something i think halo should take is crysis approach to camo.

> /: It feels like you are over simplifying to me. I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you. When i first sat down with halo 4 everything felt new. From the POD to how the human shotgun feels.

I agree that it definitely felt new, though that isn’t really the point I’m making. I’ll clarify at the bottom of this post!

> I really don’t think it matters wether something is completely new or if it just feels new.

For me, the reason many of the features felt new were because they drastically diminished the quality of gameplay, not because they gave me something new to do within the game.

Sprint certainly feels new, but that’s due to running in bursts, as opposed to indefinitely; running faster, and weapon lowering. But none of that contributes anything for me to personally get excited about.

> As long as people find it fun i don’t see a problem. We are on the brink of 2014, It’s kind of hard to make a brand new MP experience. Especially with an established franchise that’s been around for a decade. As someone pointed out earlier in this thread and something i have also stated.

In my opinion, if a franchise really gets to that state, then it is probably time for it to come to an end.
But I don’t personally believe that Halo is at that stage yet.

> Almost everything halo brought to the table has been seen in games before it’s time. For instance there was a Wolverine video game that featured the idea of regenerating health before halo CE came out. Not to get off topic but this is exactly why i dislike when people point out features in halo 4 looking similar cod. Games take ideas from eachother all the time. All this leaves is that it’s coming from cod which is some how a bad thing. But i digress.

Oh no I absolutely agree that there’s nothing inherently wrong with taking inspiration from other games, and I agree that Halo’s features have been exactly that. But I certainly don’t believe that they chose the right features for Halo 4, or implemented them properly, which of course is a different issue.
But we can agree that taking features isn’t a bad thing in itself.

> Something i think halo should take is crysis approach to camo.

I haven’t played the Crysis games enough to remember how the Camo works, could you remind me? I’ve played number 3 a little while ago on my brothers PC, but I barely remember anything.

(Most important point is in red.)
Anyway, I think I should clarify that I’m not asking for features which have never been done before, I’m just asking that they try to at least give Halo 5 a good amount of new things (outside of weapons, vehicles etc) that give us the opportunity to approach gameplay in unique ways AND that don’t ultimately give us more of the gameplay that we already have.

Quick examples of features which just give us more of what we have:

  • Spartan Ops = more killing enemies, pressing buttons etc.
  • Perks = more grenades, more sprint etc.
  • Personal Ordnance = more weapons, powerups etc.

Quick examples of genuinely new things in Halo 4:

  • Gravity volumes in Forge
  • Ability to throw Oddball
  • Mantis
  • The way the Incineration Cannon fireball things bounce around
  • The file browser

Honestly, it’s these types of things which will get me incredibly excited for a new Halo game, but Halo 5 will need quite a lot more of them than this to really interest me.

I don’t have anything against features which find new ways to give us more of what we have (as long as core gameplay is respected), but I wish that they didn’t make up the vast majority of new features.

I agree with OP. However I think the main issue with H4 is compromise.

PODs are a prime example. PODs destroy the concept of map control. I’ve posted a couple of times in the past that PODs should be POWER UPS ONLY(SB,DB,OS) at 100 points with POWER WEAPONS ON MAP. This keeps the dynamic of classic Slayer and rewards players in new ways without a ton of WTF randomness. Seriously there should have been Infinity v2 settings by now to make PODs less random or not random at all.

Then there’s the infamous Sprint. I’m old school and I feel Sprint slows gameplay overall by allowing people to escape too easily. I understand wanting to get to the action a little faster but it still needs to be implemented with Halo kill times and map design in mind. There should have been a DE-SPRINT. That means once you get shot while sprinting your character is forced back into base movement speed and shooting stance.

It feels like core elements where thrown out the window for trendy features instead of trying to make those features work with Halo’s formula.