What needs to happen in my opinion:
-Return to an arena style. I understand the need for evolution to keep things fresh. But what made this series great was the arena style of fighting for advantages. Everyone should always start the game on the same exact footing. Make advantages such as armor abilities and power weapons pick-ups on the map that you must fight for, rather than pick and choose off spawn. That way everyone begins the game the same, but can fight over these advantages to make your spartan stronger. When you die, you are back to where you started. This is how it should be. There will always be room for new stuff to add with each new game to the series. But I feel it must always stick to the core of an arena shooter. You can add whatever, as long as it stuff you must fight for control of in a balanced arena setting, rather than choosing it off spawn. This is a way to evolve the game, without moving away from the core that made this series what it is.
-Social vs Ranked. I think it is imperative for Halo 5 to have 2 sets of playlists that mirror each other, but with opposite focuses. Whatever playlist is included for social, must also have a ranked counterpart (other than silly stuff like action sack, etc. which would only be in social). There should be a social team slayer, and a ranked team slayer. A social team objective, and a ranked team objective. A social FFA, and a ranked FFA, etc. There are many players who are casual and just want to mess around and have fun, and there are those like myself that are super serious, and have to win every game they play in. Everyone should have a place to go to. And most players might have a different mindset on a given day. Sometimes you might not be feeling that competitive spirit, or your off your game, or your sick, and you might just want to relax so you play social. But on another day you might be feeling very confident with your shot, and you want to give ranked a go.
-Make winning the game the thing that matters, and stop displaying K/D ratios except for slayer gametypes. Today winning is essentially pointless, because there is no real reward for it other than a few extra XP. In previous games, the only way you could rank up was by WINNING the game. It wasn’t about armor, commendations, challenges, etc. This needs to come back in some form. Stop rewarding individual accomplishments, and start rewarding teamwork again. When you give these rewards for individual accomplishments, the game isn’t about teamwork. You’ve got one guy going for splatters to get his green visor, and another guy only trying to get assassinations for his commendation, etc. This isn’t teamwork. Those guys don’t care what the rest of the team is doing, or about winning the game. There only concern is for the rewards they will get by doing these challenges. Why in the world was this ever put into a Halo game in the first place? Never ever make stuff like this be more important than winning the game. And my other point was to stop displaying K/D ratios. This stat means nothing unless you’re playing slayer, and even then it isn’t the ratio that is important, but rather how much you’re positive by. Ex:
Player A goes 24-14, and player B goes 16-8
Player A is +10, while player B is +8.
Player A has a 1.71 K/D ratio, while player B has a 2.00 K/D ratio.
Player A helped his team more than player B, but player B has a higher K/D ratio.
And these numbers don’t mean crap in objective. If someone goes 10-18, but was actively getting flag touches, arming bombs (assault needs to come back BTW), putting shots on people, whatever, they are helping there team by going hardcore after the objective. Why in the world should K/D be tracked in that setting? It is absolutely pointless. Kills are essential in objective, to maintain map control, and to slow down attacks or speed them up if you are the attacker, but never should the kills themselves take priority over the objective.
-A RATING system for the ranked playlists. Notice how I said rating not ranking. The 1-50 is a cool design, but the biggest flaw in my opinion is how there is a max rank. I don’t like that, because then once you reach the max rank, you have nothing to play for. There is this magical game called chess that has a RATING system that I think would work perfectly for Halo competitive multiplayer. In chess, everyone starts out with a rating of 1200. When you win the game you’re playing, your rating rises. When you lose the game, your rating drops. How drastic of a rise or drop depends on the competition you’re facing. Ex:
Win vs higher rating than you: Your rating rises higher than normal
Win vs lower rating than you: Your rating rises lower than normal
Loss vs higher rating than you: Your rating drops lower than normal
Loss vs lower rating than you: Your rating drops higher than normal
But the best thing about the rating system in chess is it’s never ending because there is no max rating. It just constantly keeps moving based on your wins and losses. So there is no max rating to achieve, so there will be no need to sell accounts. Cheating will happen in any game every created, so you can’t even consider that an issue, because it’s basically unavoidable unless the games can be monitored somehow, where cheaters will be discovered and banned.
With the rating system, you will find people around your rating to get the best match-ups.
Note: In Halo Reach, I think this chess style rating was used in Arena. But there were a couple of HUGE reasons as to why it was a complete failure in many peoples eyes:
-It didn’t reward winning, but rather your stats. When your Kill+Assist/Death ratio was even, your rating was 1200. It would fluctuate based on Kill+Assist/Death ratio rather than win/loss. Huge mistake by Bungie.
-The system wiped clean every new season. Why not just have one that lasts all the time. No resets, just a constant rating for each player, solely based on wins and losses.
These are my base ideas for Halo 5. You could tweak things and add things however, but these suggestions include the core things that always need to be included in Halo games in my opinion.