HX1: Is simplicity a bad thing?(with Poll)

DISCLAIMER: This is simply my opinion. Discussion is encouraged.

I’ve seen lots of “Halo doesnt need custom loadouts” and “simple is best” on the forums, but the thing is:

Is it really?

The thing is, in order to survive, things have to evolve. In my experience, the custom loadouts were a very nice addition. They allowed me to have my own set of custom loadouts that felt my own.

We’re out of the age of Quake and those other arena shooters. Halo does need to adapt while keeping its core. Did Halo 4 do that successfully? No, not really. Sprint should have been an Armor Ability, and getting hit while scoped should have descoped you unless you had a certain mod equipped.

I’ve also heard that “Perks are unbalanced”. That is simply not true. They are balanced because everyone can have them. The Boltshot, plasma grenades, and Plasma Pistol should be loadout weapons, but with a small twist:

-Plasma Pistol now has a longer charge time. The “Heavy Plasma Pistol” is an on-map weapon that has the regular charge time.
-An armor mod, “Mechanic”, is available. This mod decreases the time it takes for your vehicle to recover from an EMP and the amount of damage from explosives infilcted on your vehicle.

While Attachments “dont belong in Halo”, it would be interesting to see them. You would have a single attachment slot for each weapon, and you would need to get kills with a weapon to unlock its attachments.

EX:

Magnum:
-Full Auto: Allows the Magnum to be fired fully automatically, at a cost of accuracy.
-Dual Wield: Hold a pistol in each hand. DIsables scoping in with this weapon.
-High Caliber Ammunition: Increases damage, but at a cost of reload time and fire rate.(increases damage by 2x)

Assault Rifle:
-Laser Sight: Decreases bloom rate.
-Holo Sight: Adds a 2x Scope to the weapon, increasing its capability for mid-range combat.
-Extended Mag: Increases maximum ammo in each mag, at the cost of reload time.(60 rounds in a mag, like in Halo: CE)

There would be a “Classic” playlist, with the classic Halo experience.

Please vote in the poll. It’ll help me get a better idea of what people want

Don’t mind this post.

I would be Ok with any advantages I could get in modes like FF or missions, but as far as MP goes, adding more “COD features” to Halo would cause a new community outrage (when doesn’t it happen anyway, ever heard of the Halo Cycle…?). IMO, they can keep the H4 system if they want, as long as Ranked playlists come back and don’t have Personal Loadouts. They can do whatever they want to Social playlists.

> I would be Ok with any advantages I could get in modes like FF or missions, but as far as MP goes, adding more “COD features” to Halo would cause a new community outrage (when doesn’t it happen anyway, ever heard of the Halo Cycle…?). IMO, they can keep the H4 system if they want, as long as Ranked playlists come back and don’t have Personal Loadouts. They can do whatever they want to Social playlists.

Honestly, a community as diverse as Halo’s would get backlash no matter what 343i did.I haven’t heard of the “Halo Cycle”, but I’d like to. The “Ranked” Playlists having a more classic feel is a good idea.

Can’t wait for E3 this year. Maybe we’ll get to see a bit of HX1 there.

“Easy to learn hard to master.” Loadouts don’t necessarily further that end, so I guess I vote simple.

> “Easy to learn hard to master.” Loadouts don’t necessarily further that end, so I guess I vote simple.

I can counter that by saying that a loadout that works for one person may not work for another.

Don’t get me wrong- I do like simple, but I also like having something to work with, aside from just ranking up.

I’m surprised no one’s commented on my ideas about attachments.

I like customization and complexity in single player games. The problem is customization and complexity seem to be counterintuitive to multiplayer competitive games.

They create issues because they are not balanced against EACHOTHER. They often result in annoying abilities because the devs need to think of enough powers to have variety. They devalue map control. They devalue teamwork as now you can have so much at your own disposal.

They result in a very samey sandbox, as it devalues the roles of weapons and forces weapons to be very similar to support the balance of loadouts. Whereas as map pick ups their variance in power would be less of an issue because it would be designed for the flow of the map.

They result in “noob combos” that are easily accessible.

> -Plasma Pistol now has a longer charge time. The “Heavy Plasma Pistol” is an on-map weapon that has the regular charge time.
> -An armor mod, “Mechanic”, is available. This mod decreases the time it takes for your vehicle to recover from an EMP and the amount of damage from explosives infilcted on your vehicle.

Yeah, just what we need, more samey weapons. A longer charge time wouldn’t fix the issue, it’d just create more bloat.

Doesn’t H4 already have something like your proposed Mechanic option? Not to mention this just means vehicles are terrible for everyone who doesn’t have this armor mod.

> While Attachments “dont belong in Halo”, it would be interesting to see them. You would have a single attachment slot for each weapon, and you would need to get kills with a weapon to unlock its attachments.

Or we could have everyone on a balanced, even playing field. All this does is create randomness and reward those who get kills more than they already are.

I was once a pro-customization person myself. But honestly due to h4 and other games, I’ve realized that those things are better kept for single player.

> I’ve also heard that “Perks are unbalanced”. That is simply not true. They are balanced because everyone can have them.

That’s like saying that glitches are balanced because anyone can do them.

You misunderstand the meaning behind the use of the word. The idea behind balance is to make sure that no matter what options the player chooses, he is no more or less advantaged or disadvantaged.

For example, in CoD, whether the player chooses a short-range SMG, mid-range AR, or long-range single- or burst-fire rifle, he is generally given the same amount of opportunities to be advantageous or disadvantageous. Same with the perks. All of this is possible because of the short kill times. It doesn’t matter if a player can reload slightly faster or has an SMG instead of an AR because they all kill within 0.1 seconds of each other anyway. It’s fairly easy to make sure I stay within my loadout’s niche and the disadvantages I have when I am not in my niche are very minor.

However, with Halo’s longer kill times, these differences are more exaggerated. It is entirely possible (and likely) that a player may win an engagement because he had Jet Pack, or a longer motion sensor range, or faster reload speed, or a close-range automatic. I can try to stay within my loadout’s niche, but I may not always be able to. For example, what if I choose a vehicle-based loadout, but then my teammates grab all of the vehicles first? Now I have to play an infantry role against opponents who will probably have infantry-enhancing perks. What if I choose a long-range loadout, but I need to go into a close-quarters area in order to score an objective? I may have to face opponents with CQC weapons who can kill 0.3 seconds faster than I can. And how could I have known?

A player can do his best to choose his loadouts wisely, but because of the slow kill times, players aren’t given enough power to make good use of their loadouts even in unfavorable situations. Regarding loadouts, as long as the player doesn’t make unreasonable choices (e.g. doesn’t use an AR on Ragnarok or Wheelman on Adrift), his success in engagements will be determined largely by whether or not he happened across situations that would make his loadout useful. So while the loadout options may be “balanced” in the sense that anyone can choose them, much of a player’s success will be determined by whether or not the situations he found himself in made his loadout useful, as opposed to his own ability to make good use of his loadouts in every situation.

Games like CoD may have depth in the number of options, but the gameplay is even more shallow than Halo’s: no matter what loadout you chose, the object is to see the enemy first so you kill him before he is able to kill you. Because Halo has always been simple in the number of options available to the player (everyone is the same), the gameplay has a lot more strategic depth. Get in a room full of Halo pros and they’ll talk for hours about the intricate strategies and decisions in the game. Get in a room full of CoD pros and they’ll just talk for a little while about what loadout options are best.

As a rule of thumb, the more customization options are available to the player, the less strategic depth it has. Think of traditional games of strategy like Chess–same starts every time. More modern games of strategy like Starcraft and League of Legends allow players to choose a class, but all of the classes are predetermined (not customizable) and balanced so that they are all equally advantageous and disadvantageous as long as you use the right strategy. Maximizing strategic depth is largely dependent upon eliminating randomness.

> -An armor mod, “Mechanic”, is available. This mod decreases the time it takes for your vehicle to recover from an EMP and the amount of damage from explosives infilcted on your vehicle.

That already exists–it’s called Wheelman.

I wouldn’t necessarily call THIS evolving…

Please keep CoD-esque gameplay and features out of Halo. Thanks.

> I wouldn’t necessarily call THIS evolving…
>
> Please keep CoD-esque gameplay and features out of Halo. Thanks.

I realized I linked the wrong thing. Should be fixed now, sorry. lol

I find myself to be more creative and resourceful when the game is more simple and has less of the gimicks that have been thrown our way lately. perks and armour abilities take the challenge and difficulty out of the game and this is in my opinion one of the factors that make halo lose it’s replayability.

“easy to learn, difficult to master”

I like the already given Halo 4 loadouts. I like it for it works. The initial perks were alright too…the dlc perks not so much. The only things that bothered me about Halo 4 was the plasma pistol and plasma grenade starts. Either way though… simple or “complicated” are fine with me…except that auto-magnum.

> > I wouldn’t necessarily call THIS evolving…
> >
> > Please keep CoD-esque gameplay and features out of Halo. Thanks.
>
> I realized I linked the wrong thing. Should be fixed now, sorry. lol

I was wondering what you meant by the first link, lol.

> The thing is, in order to survive, things have to evolve.

Yes but if I grow gills as a land-mammal I’m not going to survive very well now am I? “Evolve” has this connotation of improvement, which isn’t necessarily the case in all situations.

> We’re out of the age of Quake and those other arena shooters.

Arena Shooters (even if we simply define them as movement-based combat in arenas, regardless of loadouts, classes, etc) simply aren’t being made, and the ones that do exist are very difficult for someone to just jump in and play as a new player.

If I got a random person off the street to play Quake they would get owned by people who have honed their skills for years and memorized every map/item placement/spawn-time in the game.

Quake has no tutorial, no maps based off of a campaign, etc. The only way to learn the game these days is to be thrashed over and over until it sinks in. Needless to say that’s not going to sell well.

> I’ve also heard that “Perks are unbalanced”. That is simply not true. They are balanced because everyone can have them.

Just because everyone can have something doesn’t make it balanced.

Imagine if the rocket launcher was a secondary option in loadouts. It would be all anyone would use. Perks give you more or less undetectable buffs that the enemy can do nothing to nullify.

Anyways, is simplicity a bad thing? Well there’s really no right or wrong answer. Some people love chess, others are content playing checkers.

One thing that should be understood is the difference between complexity and depth.

Chess and Checkers have similarly low complexity (only a few rules/pieces) but Chess has significantly more depth (strategies, counter-strategies,etc).

Making Halo more complex without making it much more deep could be accomplished by adding a ton of new weapons that are only slightly different from each other. They wouldn’t add much in regard to strategy, but they would burden the player more, requiring the player to learn the stats of each for no real reason in the end.

In my opinion a good game avoids as much complexity as possible while having as much depth as possible. So it depends on what context we are using “simple” in, are we referring to simplicity in depth or simplicity in complexity?

> In my opinion a good game avoids as much complexity as possible while having as much depth as possible. So it depends on what context we are using “simple” in, are we referring to simplicity in depth or simplicity in complexity?

i’m assuming the reference is towards complexity.

halo has never been complex. it taken the base elements of games such as quake, UT, tribes etc and SIMPLIFIED them. however there are many changes yet to be made to this franchise regarding the sandbox which could help improve depth without adding much more complexity.

complexity in “modern” games (lets face it people are referencing CoD and BF style play) work due to the way these games are set up (kill times, map size, additional gameplay functions). in halo the developers chose to have a really unique and diverse weapon, vehicle, map and gametype sandbox and all functions were made simple and understandable to reinforce the the style of play halo was.

a simple game that was easy to play and hard to master

despite “modern” games complexity they lack depth

all forms of complexity mentioned in all these threads seem to ignore the fact that since there is such a melting pot of options that personal performance and predictability are lessened or removed in the process.

depth is not achieved through 100 different variables

look at the most deep video games on the market (DoTA, SC2, quake, smash) they have their complexity sure, however they never add features which inhibit personal performance.

depth is achieved through the co-ordination of complex yet UNDERSTANDABLE, MEASURABLE and MANIPULATABLE variables.

this creates many patterns which add to the mechanical skill of the game due to the many combinations the player(s) can take to achieve an outcome.

that is strategic depth.

Neither simplicity nor complexity are inherently good or bad.
Both can lead to great results as well as they can fail.
While simplicity can result in dullness, complexity can result in chaos.

It solely matters on how much thought and depth you find behind a simple or complex front or structure.

Besides, simply adding an excess of stuff to a game doesn’t make it in any way complex. It only makes it look complex but you will find nothing complex behind its front.

> The thing is, in order to survive, things have to evolve.

I would say things have to stay relevant and have to stand the test.
You can either achieve that with improving the approved old or with developing something entirely new and different.

> As a rule of thumb, the more customization options are available to the player, the less strategic depth it has.

This is what bothers me about custom loadouts within a PvP game the most.

Since custom loadouts are primarily all about personal preference, allowing you to play the way you want to play, they completely lack pretetermind game structure what eventually results in chaotic gameplay.

It is as if you let 11 football players freely and separately decide which position they want to play. You will very likely end up with an chaotic perhaps even useless team line-up.

Halo should be it’s own thing, and not try and be a carbon copy of other popular shooters. For competitive multiplayer i am very against custom loadouts but for Spartan Ops/Firefight, i feel that custom loadouts would be very much appropriate for those game modes instead, mainly because your playing with the AI so it really doesn’t matter.

For competitive, everyone should be starting at equal footing. Everyone should have the same starting weapons and grenades, the same “perks” (i.e none) and no armor abilities/equipment. It should that the only way to obtain the more exclusive weapons, vehicles and equipment is to go find them. That’s how i feel, Halo will benefit by doing it’s own thing like it’s done in the past, and will continue suffer if it continues to pretend to be Call of Duty. Halo was simple enough to play when you give someone a chance to learn the basics of it, it might take them a few hours but sooner or later, they will grasp those basics. Call of Duty is more simpler that anyone and everyone can play it after 5 minutes, mainly because most of the userbase only have an attention span of 5 minutes unless there are constant unlocks and the like. Halo hasn’t been like that and it should come back to not being like that.

Arena shooters are, strangely enough. Trying to come back, due to the rise of indie game developers wanting to make their own game instead of waiting for the slight possibility that a triple A developer decides to make a gamble.

Everyone should be playing with the same ruleset, it is much harder to balance when there are perks involved that can change little things that add up. As they say, less is more.

I vote for simplicity, because reasons that have already been stated in this thread many times.

Also, don’t worry OP, im sure there is at least one person in these forums who agrees with you.

EDIT:
He has arrived.

Sure things need to change in order to remain relevant, however abandoning what makes a series unique in order to ‘modernize’ is not the right answer.

We may be out of the ‘age of quake’ but that does not mean every shooter needs to play the same or that people don’t enjoy Arena shooters. This argument bothers me to no end. Its this line of thinking that makes companies say things like ‘JRPGs don’t sell’ or ‘Horror games don’t sell’ even with evidence to the contrary.

Halo Reach may have had its issues but it maintained a healthy population in a post-CoD environment. There is no evidence that no one wants to play classic Halo because they have no tried releasing one. I don’t believe that a ‘classic’ Halo would somehow put Halo back on the FPS throne, but at the same time ‘modernizing’ it won’t do that either.

I would be perfectly content with a more humble, dedicated population playing the game I love rather than having a wider audience with a game that only looks and sounds like the game I used to love.

As others have already said perks are unbalanced. There is no way to account for them or limit there use in any way. You just have to hope and pray the ‘playstyle’ you are using isn’t completely negated by what the other team is doing. Setting up a loadout is a bit like ‘betting on black’. Sure they are both ‘strategies’ but at the end of the day you are still just gambling.

Perks work in games like CoD or Titanfall because you killtimes are so quick that shootouts almost always come down to who has the best twitch shooting skills rather than who picked what perks.

> -Plasma Pistol now has a longer charge time. The “Heavy Plasma Pistol” is an on-map weapon that has the regular charge time.

This is an example of another flaw with loadouts, you end up with weapons and equipment that are either nerfed into oblivion, or filled with weapons that are so similar that you might as well not even bother.

As far as attachments go, that is what spin-offs are for. It has the same issues that perks do and it would be awful.

Your post defines ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ as less features vs more, whereas I define it by depth. Halo 3 had far more depth to the gameplay than Halo 4, Halo 4’s added perks and ordnance just segmented what we already had. E.g., Resupply being a defualt ability in Halo 3, or extra ammo perks, which don’t add depth in any way but are simply a luxury, the only things changing gameplay in a tangible way are the armour abilities. Sprint has single handedly ruined classic map design, sentries are useless and most of the rest is recycled versions of equipment we already had in Halo 3, which worked much better as a game mechanic than armour abilities.

Halo 4’s added fluff didn’t add depth in my eyes, and mostly just interfered with balance, not necessarily due to the concept of the ideas but due to its poor implementation into the game.

The games can evolve by building upon the core of Halo, as Halo 2 did to CE and Halo 3 did to Halo 2, CHANGE isn’t what people oppose, but changing the CORE of what makes the game fun is a problem.

Halo 4 is to Halo what Resident Evil 5 was to Resi, what Dead Space 3 was to the first 2, a game that set expectations and compared itself to the old games in the franchise, only to change the core of what made the game good to begin with and go down a totally different route. Halo 4 isn’t even that bad, but it’s not a true Halo multiplayer experience. I think Titanfall did what Halo 4 attempted much better, merging arena shooter and class based shooter while staying balanced.