I’ve seen a lot of threads concerning balance and there seems to be a fair amount of confusion about how balance should work in a Halo-esque FPS.
Excluding power weapons (see end of post), the harder the weapon is to use, the shorter it’s optimal kill time should be. Although it’s a power weapon, the sniper is an extreme example of this. (The reason the sniper still requires significant skill is because it is usually given to both teams at the beginning of the game in order to reward the more skilled team). It has little auto-aim, and you have to hit a small target (their head) in order to get a kill. The assault rifle is another extreme example. It has a large reticule, no headshot bonus, and a significant amount of auto-aim and has a longer kill time.
Also, this concept can be used to apply balance to guns in different ranges without making them useless. For example, a sniper is much easier to use when your opponent is all the way across the map (as it should be, since it is designed for that range), but as the opponent gets closer it becomes harder and harder to land shots on them, the hardest of which being a close range no scope.
This is how the utility weapon works as well. It should not be the IDEAL weapon outside or midrange but should still allow to player to defeat any other weapon if said player has a large enough skill advantage over his opponent. So, a pro should be able to easily beat a noob with a sniper even from across the map. Same with a pro vs a noob with a shotgun at close range.
Power weapons such as rockets, splaser, shotgun, sword, etc, should be designed to be powerful and require little skill to use. This is because the skill is in acquiring these weapons by utilizing superior teamwork and map control. A similar concept can be applied to powerups.