How Halo Balance Works

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.

I would agree, except that the logic of wider skill gap = faster kill time is flawed by weapons like the Shotgun, and Rocket Launcher.

Also, the DMR doesn’t have a huge skill gap, I don’t know why so many players act like it does. The Magnum sure did, but BR did in Halo 3, but not 2. But the DMR does not, it’s mostly random.

> 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.
>
> 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.

Pretty much.

> I would agree, except that the logic of wider skill gap = faster kill time is flawed by weapons like the Shotgun, and Rocket Launcher.
>
> Also, the DMR doesn’t have a huge skill gap, I don’t know why so many players act like it does. The Magnum sure did, but BR did in Halo 3, but not 2. But the DMR does not, it’s mostly random.

Those are power weapons

DMR has no skill due to movement acceleration, bloom and yeh

> I would agree, except that the logic of wider skill gap = faster kill time is flawed by weapons like the Shotgun, and Rocket Launcher.
>
> Also, the DMR doesn’t have a huge skill gap, I don’t know why so many players act like it does. The Magnum sure did, but BR did in Halo 3, but not 2. But the DMR does not, it’s mostly random.

I put that in my post.

Those weapons are power weapons. They are not meant to be balanced by skill, rather they should be designed so they’re very powerful and require little skill to use. The skill is in acquiring the weapons, which takes teamwork and superior map control.

Good post, but it doesn’t change that the game is based on Rock-Paper-Scissors rather than a more refined system, for lack of a better word.

> Good post, but it doesn’t change that the game is based on Rock-Paper-Scissors rather than a more refined system, for lack of a better word.

Halo Reach is. Halo CE isn’t, because weapons can still be used outside of their niche given the player has a significant skill advantage over his opponent.

> > Good post, but it doesn’t change that the game is based on Rock-Paper-Scissors rather than a more refined system, for lack of a better word.
>
> Halo Reach is. Halo CE isn’t, because weapons can still be used outside of their niche given the player has a significant skill advantage over his opponent.

Bungie has stated multiple times that every Halo game is designed around a R-P-S core.

Skill won’t make you hit an opponent across the map with rockets.

I agree.

> > > Good post, but it doesn’t change that the game is based on Rock-Paper-Scissors rather than a more refined system, for lack of a better word.
> >
> > Halo Reach is. Halo CE isn’t, because weapons can still be used outside of their niche given the player has a significant skill advantage over his opponent.
>
> Bungie has stated multiple times that every Halo game is designed around a R-P-S core.
>
> Skill won’t make you hit an opponent across the map with rockets.

Halo CE wasn’t based on RPS. It was designed around the utility weapon, which contrary to popular belief, was not accidentally made too powerful. The reason Halo’s MP has declined and become more and more like RPS over the years was because John Howard, the lead MP designer of Halo 1 left the company after the first title.

> > > > Good post, but it doesn’t change that the game is based on Rock-Paper-Scissors rather than a more refined system, for lack of a better word.
> > >
> > > Halo Reach is. Halo CE isn’t, because weapons can still be used outside of their niche given the player has a significant skill advantage over his opponent.
> >
> > Bungie has stated multiple times that every Halo game is designed around a R-P-S core.
> >
> > Skill won’t make you hit an opponent across the map with rockets.
>
> Halo CE wasn’t based on RPS. It was designed around the utility weapon, which contrary to popular belief, was not accidentally made too powerful. The reason Halo’s MP has declined and become more and more like RPS over the years was because John Howard, the lead MP designer of Halo 1 left the company after the first title.

Again, they said RPS.

Now, there are multiple factors to consider here: First off a group project will always be subject to concessions and compromise. Great ideas have to be funneled through one vision to be more concrete. This is why it gives you the illusion of being “better”: Its because you don’t feel the other 200 developers’ voices complaining about some little thing when you’re playing.

Halo CE was also significantly simpler, which is perhaps what we’re the most confused about here.

The concept of utility weapon and power weapon is kind of a non-factor here considering there is only one loadout.

> Again, they said RPS.
>
> Now, there are multiple factors to consider here: First off a group project will always be subject to concessions and compromise. Great ideas have to be funneled through one vision to be more concrete. This is why it gives you the illusion of being “better”: Its because you don’t feel the other 200 developers’ voices complaining about some little thing when you’re playing.
>
> Halo CE was also significantly simpler, which is perhaps what we’re the most confused about here.
>
> The concept of utility weapon and power weapon is kind of a non-factor here considering there is only one loadout.

Interviews with the lead designer of Halo 1’s MP says otherwise.

I’m not really sure what you’re talking about in the rest of the post.

> > Again, they said RPS.
> >
> > Now, there are multiple factors to consider here: First off a group project will always be subject to concessions and compromise. Great ideas have to be funneled through one vision to be more concrete. This is why it gives you the illusion of being “better”: Its because you don’t feel the other 200 developers’ voices complaining about some little thing when you’re playing.
> >
> > Halo CE was also significantly simpler, which is perhaps what we’re the most confused about here.
> >
> > The concept of utility weapon and power weapon is kind of a non-factor here considering there is only one loadout.
>
> Interviews with the lead designer of Halo 1’s MP says otherwise.
>
> I’m not really sure what you’re talking about in the rest of the post.

I’m just stating a few psychological side-effects of some of the game design decisions and why some people seem more polarized than others.

Anyway, I’ll look for those interviews and I’ll get back to you on that because the 5 or so ones I’ve seen so far all explicitly stated RPS or only talked about the 1 week or so they had to build the entire multiplayer (lol).