My two cents on the Beta thus far… feel free to check back to this post for weekly updates!
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the gameplay. Initially, when I heard about all of the changes, I was extremely skeptical. I am happy to say that pretty much all of my fears were unfounded once I actually got my hands on the Beta. It did take a while to get the controls down, but once I got a better handle on it, the game plays very smoothly (especially for a Beta release).
Clambering, yeah I will agree that it sucks when you clamber into someone’s line of fire and you cannot react in time to save yourself, perhaps they can include a way to evade quickly by maybe dropping back off the ledge fast, but I do not think that they should add the ability to shoot while clambering, nor do I think that they should make it so that you can shoot immediately after clambering, I think that this vulnerability (along with others like: the floating ADS, lack of shield recharge while sprinting, ground-pound disorientation, etc) adds to the gameplay by making you have to be more strategic with your use of abilities. This is what sets apart the good players from those who misuse their abilities. But like I said, adding counter-moves like reversing/canceling your clamber at the last second would be nice.
I am hesitant to suggest that I think that we should see what it would be like to have two jetpack boosts rather than the one (before we get a recharge delay). I would worry that this would make the gameplay too chaotic, but it might not and may be fun to have an extra “dash” before recharge sets in. We would have to play-test it to know for sure. Also, unless I am missing something, it is not easy for me to tell when the dash is ready to go again. Maybe adding a more noticable feedback when it is fully recharged would be nice… or if I am just too daft to notice it, then ignore me entirely, I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually.
Okay, ADS… Many seem to have issues with this, even if they generally like the idea, some still dislike the “HUD Spam”. Well I will say that personally… I think that it’s perfect. Here’s why. The “HUD Spam” is there for a reason, because it is an advantage to be zoomed in, your hits land easier at mid to long range and it is especially nice for those campers… ahem, I mean snipers. If your radar did not go away and you still had a full field of view while in ADS, you would find people staying in ADS indefinitely. The fact that you can be snuck up on is fair, in my opinion. Plus, who doesn’t like a good assassination of a campy Spartan?
Even though I am crap with the Prophet’s Bane (Sword) myself and rarely grab it, I love that they added a longer lunge range using the ADS mechanic… well done.
Also, thanks for adding back the ability to throw grenades up lifts; I missed that in Halo 4.
I also think that the weapon balancing is excellent; the Assault Rifle actually being useful is a nice change. The only change I would make is perhaps giving the Battle Rifle a bit more ammo… not much, but maybe one more clips worth… seems like I run out way too soon.
I also think that the Power Weapon and tactical callouts are nice and not over-bearing. Although sometimes they are comical, I still would rather they not go away. “Took his head right off!” Gotta love it when you hear that. I agree though that some customizations of your Spartan’s voice would be cool, but only if it wouldn’t negatively impact the gameplay and add too much overhead to the server side processing of the game.
I would also agree with RedStarRocket91 on his point about the texture and lighting giving the Blue Team a bit of an advantage, hard to see them sometimes… when it is always easy to see a Red Spartan.
Please add more assassination animations rather than reusing Halo 4 ones. Although, the assassination with the Prophet’s Bane is sweet.
Please remake the Wizard / Warlock map so that I don’t have to… again
Well, other than that, I don’t think that I have anything else to add at this time other than that I think that 343 are on the right track with this one! Well done!
— Week Two Update —
I absolutely love the new “Breakout” gametype, well done!
As for the Slayer playlists that start with a BR and Pistol… well I always hated playlists that start you off with certain weapons other than an Assault Rifle, unless of course it’s a SWAT, Rockets Only, or Shotgun Only type of gametype. Weapons like the BR should have to be picked up, not given, and games that only have long-ranged weapons in them like the BR and Sniper, that takes away all of the opportunities for diverse gameplay… making it increadibly boring in my opinion. Everyone just hangs back and tries to snipe each other… this is fine if that is what you like, but it’s not fun in my opinion. Not to say that you should not have playlists like this in the end release, but unlike the previous Halo 4 playlists, please make it so that you can choose to go into a normal Team Slayer Playlist and not have the ability to vote for a BR-Team Slayer game. Having them in two seperate playlists would be ideal.
Other than that, I hope that we get the matchmaking to work a bit smoother, but I understand that this is just a Beta. Many times we are waiting “Search for Players” for upwards of 5 minutes and then it just crashes and we have to restart matchmacking. This happens predominantly after a match and someone leaves; it is almost certain that a new player will not be found to fill the spot (sometimes it works though, but rarely).
Lastly, I am noticing a lot more that when meleeing from behind (and holding) that assassinations do not always happen. This is not because a Spartan Charge is done, it simply melees normally, lacking an assassination. May be something to look at.
See ya next week!