How well-supported are the Custom Options for Halo 4’s competitive community?
I’ll admit that I haven’t been paying much attention to Halo 4 recently, but I’m still fence-sitting since my pre-order for another game is taking so damn long and I want something new to play. I need you guys to help me decide, or at least answer my questions so that I can make a more well-informed decision.
Full disclosure: I’m one of the people who hated Reach with a passion and complained about it relentlessly, both on the Bungie forums and a couple times on the Reach forums. Also, everything discussed will pertain strictly to multiplayer. I don’t care what happens in Campaign/Spartan Ops.
First off – the maps. Asymmetrical maps are terrible. I know I’m going to be hanged because I just blurted that out, but that’s how I feel. Every single asymmetrical map that came with default Reach (I simply did not play the Anniversary map pack enough to make judgments, although I feel that it would not change that diagnosis) favored one team over another. In other words: unbalanced. There were only two maps that I could withstand in Reach that weren’t MLG-forge-made: Zealot and Countdown. Now, apparently all of Halo 4’s maps shown so far have been symmetrical. Are there going to be a huge number of symmetrical maps when it launches? One of the problems with MLG was how boring the maps looked, with an endless sea of grey, grey, and more grey, since the only way to make more balanced maps was through Forge. If 343i is creating more vibrant symmetrical (and balanced) maps that can be implemented into a competitive community straight out of the box, it would be a huge plus.
Secondly – the bloom. I’m not going to get into a huge argument about whether Bloom decreases the skill gap or not. What I want to know is whether there is an option to completely remove Bloom in custom games. I’ve heard that the BR has no bloom, but the Sniper Rifle, DMR, and pistol all do. If the Sniper Rifle has the Bloom from Reach (where the reticule only expands and contracts to show you the time delay between the fixed-rate-of-fire for shots), that is perfectly fine. I’m okay with that kind of Bloom. If, on the other hand, there is a degree of variance as with the 85% and 100% gametypes in Reach, and there is absolutely no way to adjust it in Customs, I would be extremely disappointed.
Thirdly – grenades. Grenade spam was a huge issue in Reach that was only slightly mitigated by adjusting movement settings/gravity. Unfortunately, that was at best a workaround. Is there any way to directly adjust grenade damage in Halo 4?
Fourthly – Armour Abilities/Tactical Packages/Specializations/whatever. Can you create gametypes which specifically bar the use of, say, the Wetwork specialization? In Reach you could take out all the Armour Abilities, I’m hoping that is still the case, but I’m worried about whether you can remove Tactical Packages and Specializations in the same way. Bungie completely missed the ball by not implementing options to adjust grenade damage and the level of Bloom in customs, and I don’t want a scenario where a year after the game is released 343 finally puts out one, and only one gametype that can’t be modified which ensures that you can take out Specializations and Tactical Packages, just like what happened with Bloom in Reach.
Fifthly – ordnance drops and flag carriers. Is there any way to ensure that Ordnance drops in Customs are not random and give out specific power weapons? And is there any way to customize flag carrier traits so that he doesn’t get a pistol?
Finally, competitive playlists. It is absolutely fine for Infinity Slayer to be in multiple playlists, so long as there’s something for the competitive crowd. I think (I haven’t played Reach in 7+ months) that Arena, to this very day, still has Bloom, jetpack, hologram, asymmetrical grenades, and the same movement settings. MLG still is the only destination for competitive players, but with the absence of any structured ranking system matches verge between steamrolls and duck hunting. Going forward, how is 343i going to ensure that competitive playlists (if any) will, A) Actually reflect the desires of the competitive community, and B) Have some sort of better ranking system?