Invasion: It could have been great.

There are so many reasons why Invasion could have been an amazing gametype. The very idea of a three-tiered, Spartans v Elites, objective gametype on massive maps should mean you’re on to a sure-fire winner. But alas, the population of Invasion right now is 3,793; which is less than Team Slayer, Arena, Rumble Pit, Living Dead, SWAT, BTB and Grifball. This, from a playlist that was touted as the flagship of Halo Reach’s multiplayer. It was lauded by every Video Gaming media article I read as “potentially historic” and “could drastically alter the future of FPS’s”. The idea was that we’d love the open, epic-scale warfare. The Beta Invasion served only to up the hype on this groundbreaking new game.

Flash forward to now and it’s the 7th most-populated playlist on the game. It’s horrible, really, and this is one area I think 343 really need to give attention.

For starters, Invasion Slayer should not be in this playlist. The only gametype in this playlist should be Invasion. No variants, just Invasion. There are 5 other playlists for Slayer: Team Slayer, Squad Slayer, Team Snipers, SWAT, and Premium Slayer. Why do we need Slayer gametypes in Invasion?

Secondly, one reason why it’s relatively scarcely populated is that is can get very stale, very quickly, and this is majoritively due to the lack of maps for it. At the moment, the only ones that are really played are Boneyard, Spire and Breakpoint. That’s a whole 3 maps designed for Invasion, one of which is DLC. This is where the community comes in.

Forge World is a vast, huge canvas designed for people to create and share their maps. The sheer size of this map would make for a lot of oppurtunity for Invasion maps to be made. There are a few out there already. Invasion desperately needs an injection of Community maps. The winner of the Forgetacular competition was an Invasion map I believe, yet we are yet to see it, which confuses me.

Heck, if no-one’s keen on the idea of Community maps being implemented into Invasion, what harm could a Community Invasion playlist do?

Sure, Invasion maps can be a bit difficult but the Halo community would likely rise to the challenge. Playing the same two or three maps over and over isn’t fun and is the reason why no-one plays Invasion.

Also, the balancing is wrong. Elites are under-equipped compared to the Spartans. Spartans get AR and Magnum at spawn, whereas Elites get a Plasma Repeater & Plasma Pistol, or a Needler. No-one will ever convince me that is balanced. Even in later rounds it is still evident. Spartans get great Anti-Vehicular weapons: the DMR and Grenade Launcher. Elite Banshees will rarely last more than 2 minutes due to this. What do the Elites get in the way of Anti-Vehicle? A Plasma Pistol, which works only at very close range, and Stickies, which are the same. Needle Rifles just bounce off Vehicles, unlike the DMR which tears through them. The Concussion Rifle is useless as it doesn’t have the remote-detonation OR the EMP that the Pro Pipe has. Spartans also have Rockets on Boneyard Tier 3, which locks on to Air Vehicles.

TL;DR - Invasion could have been amazing. It still could be, but it needs a helluva lot of attention.

Thanks for reading, all discussion welcome. Obviously. It’s a Forum, duh.

They need to remove armour lock and propipe from it.

I hear you, some more maps would be great.

I do agree that Invasion needs some work, but here’ what I think:

  1. Keep Invasion Slayer. It’s a nice gametype, but give people more incentive to grab the objectives (extra points, perhaps), because then, yes, it turns into just another slayer game. However, removed Skirmish.

  2. Yes, add some new maps. There are dozens of amazing community maps and game varients. Also, make it a DLC required playlist. I don’t remember the last time I played invasion on breakpoint.

  3. The default loadouts are fine, in my opinion, but the weapons on the map for the Elites could change. Honestly though, weapons like the DMR and sniper rifle need to be nerfed so they are less effective against vehicles. That alone could make invasion better

> I do agree that Invasion needs some work, but here’ what I think:
>
> 1. Keep Invasion Slayer. It’s a nice gametype, but give people more incentive to grab the objectives (extra points, perhaps), because then, yes, it turns into just another slayer game. However, removed Skirmish.
>
> 2. Yes, add some new maps. There are dozens of amazing community maps and game varients. Also, make it a DLC required playlist. I don’t remember the last time I played invasion on breakpoint.
>
> 3. The default loadouts are fine, in my opinion, but the weapons on the map for the Elites could change. Honestly though, weapons like the DMR and sniper rifle need to be nerfed so they are less effective against vehicles. That alone could make invasion better

To be honest with you I don’t mind playing Invasion Slayer but when I go into Invasion, I just want to play Invasion, pure and simple.

Pretty much agreed on everything else. It annoys me that I paid for Breakpoint, and in many ways it’s the most enjoyable Invasion map out there, yet I never get to play it.

Only thing I disagreed with is the vehicle balancing. When it comes to Banshee, it’s clearly balanced to the Elites’ favor. If I can dominate with Banshee on Spire and get Rampages, in no way can it be underpowered.

Other than that, you’re totally right. Except that almost 4,000 players isn’t low. When I last checked BTB usually had about 2,500 players online at average. Invasion still loses with it’s population of 1,800 which I usually see there, but that isn’t low. People should really learn some sense of scale. If you took all those 3,700 players and put them to a any other FPS than Halo, CoD or Battlefield, the population of the game would double. With those 3,700 players you could organize 316 full Invasion games, if those players played Invasion for 24 hours, they would end up having 22,752 in a single day (assuming a game lasts 20 minutes on average). That’s 7,584 hours of gameplay, which is almost a year of gameplay in one day. Do you still think that it’s low?

Sorry about the last paragraph, I’m just sick of the fact that people usually have no understanding of what is low amount, what is a normal amount and what is a big amount. I still agree that Invasion possess some problems, the biggest problem being the amount and quality of maps. The quality is important, I already got sick of Spire when I developed a pattern that makes my team to win and at the same time allows me to get K/D spreads of +40. It works against every non-organized team, which is probably 95% of the population of Invasion. On Boneyard I could develop a pattern, but unfortunately it’s too hard to get the core outside. Anyway, the point is that the current Invasion maps have way too repetitive and easy gameplay.

P.S. Almost forgot, I also developed a pattern for Breakpoint too. It works as well as the one for Spire. The funny thing about these patterns is, you can execute them without your team’s help, but your team will benefit from them. Boneyard is by far the hardest, but still easy to accomplish.

Here’s how you fix a potential Invasion playlist for Halo 4

-Keep Invasion slayer
Remove the ammo cache drops
make the starting weapons for both sides balanced (Always have a NR and a DMR loadout)
Make the scorpion how it is in Halo CE(you could actually miss with it).

-Maps
make sure the maps are actually balanced as it stands all Invasion maps in Reach are horribly biased towards the defense team.
More then 2 maps please?

-Invasion
Don’t let the defense spawn 5 feet away from the final objective in a small room with shotgun spawns. aka boneyard
Make different variations of the “Invasion” gametype depending on the map, or just make several different versions available for all maps
EX: Invasion Control - Primarily territories,
-Stage 1 - Capture the territory similar to reach
-Stage 2 - 3 plot territories - In balanced locations for the love of god
-Stage 3 - King of the Hill - Moving every minute in a set order within a specific area of the map.
EX2: Invasion blitz - Primarily bomb/flag

You get the idea I hope, Just make it where there’s some variation in the gametypes, because Reach Invasion just gets -Yoinking!- old.

> They need to remove armour lock and propipe from it.

Come on, we are trying to get some thoughtful discussion going on here. I disagree with your statement, but I do not feel like elaborating/arguing if you’re not going to put effort into this topic.

@OP; yes this playlist has fallen a bit short of expectations. There are a few reasons the playlist could be better (in my opinion):

For obvious reasons, all invasion slayer/skirmish variants need removed. They’re simply either unbalanced or redundant to the playlist (addressed in OP).

Another helpful (if not obvious reason) fix is additional maps. HOWEVER, this I can nearly guarantee canNOT be fixed by the community. Forge world has its own problems with framerate and local players. A GOOD invasion map requires insane amounts of focus, balancing, and intricate construction due to the nature of the gametype. There is a reason there has not been a community playlist.

A couple other things to ponder:

-DLC Requirement to search?
(here’s a post I made on bungie forums awhile ago):

1-Playlist population. Invasion doesn’t have a huge population, but it isn’t at the bottom either. I find most of my 800+ games have been boneyard/spire, indicating most players don’t have the DLC (And I am almost always in a full party of 6 who all have DLC)
2-Competitiveness. On the few occasions I have been able to vote for breakpoint, it has most often been against strong players or opposing parties of 6. These games are much more enjoyable for me, as I would say 80% of my games on boneyard/spire involve quitters or 3-4 guests.
So, the question is, do you want to sacrifice some population for better games? Or keep invasion an easy to access playlist?

Personally, I want more competitive games. There are zero playlists on Reach that give me goosebumps in a tight match moreso than invasion.

-“WAHHH! SHOTGUN + AL IS TOO OVERPOWERED, THIS MAP FAVORS SUCH-AND-SUCH RACE!”
If you don’t have at least 500 or so games in the playlist, your opinion on balance really doesn’t matter. Have you played enough games to really understand how the loadouts and maps sync with eachother? It is one-sided objective, not parallel slayer. It is supposed to be like this.

I really love this playlist. I hate running into 20 games a night of 3-4 guests who all quit out. It saddens me to see nobody taking this playlist seriously when it could be the most fun you’ve had in Halo.

The two biggest issues with Invasion is the quitting and the spawn system. Currently quitting is by far the biggest issue with this playlist. The moment one person quits, their battle bro is left alone to spawn from start every single time… which completely takes away from a major aspect of the gameplay. It also makes camping much easier to achieve. There is no worse feeling than having your battle bro leave the game and know you’re the one that will be spawn camped. When one player is being spawn camped, then he quits making it 6 vs 4… which then allows them to be spawn camped with 2 extra players able to sit on their spawn area.

The spawn system is the 2nd biggest issue. You are stuck spawning at your starting spawn… every time. There is no way to choose which of the starting zones you may spawn from, which promotes spawn camping/raping. There is no skill involved in having that advantage. When that happens, it’s no wonder how many people quit in the middle of the game.

Two proposals for fixing that is…
1.) instead of 3 groups of 2, make it 2 groups of 3. This way if one person quits you still have a battle bro to spawn off of.
2.) allow players to choose one of the 3 starting spawn locations. This will make spawn camping more difficult and allow the attacking team to play.

More maps would be a good thing. I don’t really get too tired of Boneyard and Spire because each time is unique despite it being the same map. I enjoy trying new techniques, when my partner doesn’t quit. Unfortunately the quitting is so bad that I don’t get to play very often.

I also would like to see it be a strictly Invasion playlist. Slayer games should be grouped with slayer games. Objective games should be grouped with Objectives. It’s another reason why quitting is so prevalent in this playlist.

>

  • I know that good Invasion maps take incredible amounts of focus, know-how and time, but a Forgetacular winner was an Invasion map so it can be done. I’d be surprised if 343 even bothered though TBH, when all the community wants right now is the core gameplay aspects fixed, such as Bloom, Anti-Vehicle DMRs, 'nades, AL, Papier-Mache Vehicles, etc. Maybe the community could make their own Custom Gametypes for Invasion maps, and edit things such as Core location, drop-off, load-outs - and hey, even completely modify the map itself with regards to vehicle/weapon placement, etc, then submit them. It’s not a whole new map but it’d be interesting at the very least, and it’d play much differently.

  • DLC required search would improve this playlist significantly.

>

  • Quitting is a huge annoyance in Invasion, and it seems to affect the game more than other playlists. Whenever a team goes a man down due to a quitter they often are at a huge disadvantage. The two groups of three idea is pretty agreeable.

> >
>
> - a Forgetacular winner was an Invasion map

There was an invasion category, so there had to be a winner regardless of how good/bad it was. The winner still today has 16 games total of invasion experience. There’s no way one can put a quality map up with that much knowledge. Like I said before, there’s a reason all of the other forgetacular maps were put into matchmaking and this one wasn’t.

2 groups of 3 disrupts the entire system of invasion and ruins the fireteam aspect of it. Going from 2 teams to 3 is a large jump. You can’t stop quitters anyways, don’t change some of the rules to try and account for quitters! That just detracts from the playing experience

It just flat out doesn’t work well. The maps aren’t designed well for it at all, ironically.

It’s mainly just a “RUSH RUSH RUSH TILL YOU WIN OR LOOSE” gametype. There’s no strategy at all. The capture points are all far too small, meaning that you can’t tactfully hold an area, because you can just be ‘nade spammed out of all the capture points. On Boneyard, the final objective is so deep within the enemy base, you can’t even get to it unless you Zerg the place, and then, you just keep slowly carrying it out bit by bit as the Spartans tear you to pieces with their farkin’ ARMORY of weapons they have.

It’s not only never fair for the Elites, it’s just a really…Stale gametype. There’s NO strategy. NONE. It’s just “Rush in and die until we get lucky”.

I dunno how to fix it either, really. Maybe I’ll try sometime…

> I dunno how to fix it either, really. Maybe I’ll try sometime…

I’m standing by my “community variants” theory. Sure, having the community make their own maps is proven flawed, but I can see nothing wrong with the community making their own variants of the existing gametype and fiddling with the existing Invasion maps.

> 1.) instead of 3 groups of 2, make it 2 groups of 3. This way if one person quits you still have a battle bro to spawn off of.

Better idea: add a toggle for Fireteams, and disable them in Matchmaking.

Only being able to spawn on one randomly-selected ally is lame. Why not let us spawn on any teammate?

> There are so many reasons why Invasion could have been an amazing gametype. The very idea of a three-tiered, Spartans v Elites, objective gametype on massive maps should mean you’re on to a sure-fire winner. But alas, the population of Invasion right now is 3,793; which is less than Team Slayer, Arena, Rumble Pit, Living Dead, SWAT, BTB and Grifball. This, from a playlist that was touted as the flagship of Halo Reach’s multiplayer. It was lauded by every Video Gaming media article I read as “potentially historic” and “could drastically alter the future of FPS’s”. The idea was that we’d love the open, epic-scale warfare. The Beta Invasion served only to up the hype on this groundbreaking new game.
>
> Flash forward to now and it’s the 7th most-populated playlist on the game. It’s horrible, really, and this is one area I think 343 really need to give attention.
>
> For starters, Invasion Slayer should not be in this playlist. The only gametype in this playlist should be Invasion. No variants, just Invasion. There are 5 other playlists for Slayer: Team Slayer, Squad Slayer, Team Snipers, SWAT, and Premium Slayer. Why do we need Slayer gametypes in Invasion?
>
> Secondly, one reason why it’s relatively scarcely populated is that is can get very stale, very quickly, and this is majoritively due to the lack of maps for it. At the moment, the only ones that are really played are Boneyard, Spire and Breakpoint. That’s a whole 3 maps designed for Invasion, one of which is DLC. This is where the community comes in.
>
> Forge World is a vast, huge canvas designed for people to create and share their maps. The sheer size of this map would make for a lot of oppurtunity for Invasion maps to be made. There are a few out there already. Invasion desperately needs an injection of Community maps. The winner of the Forgetacular competition was an Invasion map I believe, yet we are yet to see it, which confuses me.
>
> Heck, if no-one’s keen on the idea of Community maps being implemented into Invasion, what harm could a Community Invasion playlist do?
>
> Sure, Invasion maps can be a bit difficult but the Halo community would likely rise to the challenge. Playing the same two or three maps over and over isn’t fun and is the reason why no-one plays Invasion.
>
> Also, the balancing is wrong. Elites are under-equipped compared to the Spartans. Spartans get AR and Magnum at spawn, whereas Elites get a Plasma Repeater & Plasma Pistol, or a Needler. No-one will ever convince me that is balanced. Even in later rounds it is still evident. Spartans get great Anti-Vehicular weapons: the DMR and Grenade Launcher. Elite Banshees will rarely last more than 2 minutes due to this. What do the Elites get in the way of Anti-Vehicle? A Plasma Pistol, which works only at very close range, and Stickies, which are the same. Needle Rifles just bounce off Vehicles, unlike the DMR which tears through them. The Concussion Rifle is useless as it doesn’t have the remote-detonation OR the EMP that the Pro Pipe has. Spartans also have Rockets on Boneyard Tier 3, which locks on to Air Vehicles.
>
> TL;DR - Invasion could have been amazing. It still could be, but it needs a helluva lot of attention.
>
> Thanks for reading, all discussion welcome. Obviously. It’s a Forum, duh.

They need to scrap the idea of humans must start with human weapons and aliens must start with alien weapons. They need to have the weapons which fit their role and make for interesting, unbiased fights.

I was expecting something like Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s Rush mode (I think that was the one). Instead, we got this.

But yes, it needs new maps badly. Community or otherwise. Hell, release a map pack between Halo: CEA and Halo 4 that has all Invasion maps.

> It’s mainly just a “RUSH RUSH RUSH TILL YOU WIN OR LOOSE” gametype. There’s no strategy at all. The capture points are all far too small, meaning that you can’t tactfully hold an area, because you can just be ‘nade spammed out of all the capture points. On Boneyard, the final objective is so deep within the enemy base, you can’t even get to it unless you Zerg the place, and then, you just keep slowly carrying it out bit by bit as the Spartans tear you to pieces with their farkin’ ARMORY of weapons they have.
>
> It’s not only never fair for the Elites, it’s just a really…Stale gametype. There’s NO strategy. NONE. It’s just “Rush in and die until we get lucky”.
>
> I dunno how to fix it either, really. Maybe I’ll try sometime…

I must disagree with you there on certain points. First, yes, Invasion is based off of “rushes” from the attacking team to achieve the objective. However, the same could be said of the basic CTF and Assault gametypes. Just as in CTF and Assault, the coordinated rushes that hit an enemy in their blind spot are the ones that succeed the most. And just as in CTF and Assault, a coordinated defense that covers as many blind spots as possible are the ones that succeed the most. Uncoordinated rushes are much more likely to be put down, whether they be blind “Zerg rushes” or just ruffgonjang; uncoordinated defenses are much more likely to leave a weak point open for the opposing team to exploit. It’s the same basic game, just in a different format.

As for the capture points, all matchmaking-grade Invasion maps have some degree of cover in the territories, allowing some defense against 'nade spam and cover against attack. The key is to just have one guy in the capture point, and have the rest provide covering fire from the outside. If he dies, someone else can take his place. More guys in the territory does not equal faster capture rate.

As for Boneyard Tier 3, take what I said before about coordinated rushes, and apply it there. If you know what you’re doing, you’re more likely to break the “turtle” on Boneyard.

> Also, the balancing is wrong.

While Elite weaponry lacks the same destructive capacity as Spartan weaponry, the weapons, vehicles, and abilities in Invasion are balanced appropriately. Assault Rifles kill in about the same amount of time as Plasma Repeaters, Plasma pistols are great for ripping off shields to allow a needle rifle headshot (every Invasion map in Matchmaking has at least one NR available Tier 1) or a quick pummel, and the Needler can be devastating in the hands of someone who knows how to lead the target. The maps themselves are more close-range focused (unlike Hemorrhage and Paradiso), so not only will plasma pistols and stickies be just as effective in eliminating ground vehicles as a grenade launcher (if not more effective), but vehicles have a fair amount of cover to maneuver around as well, especially vertical cover for the Banshee and Falcon. Likewise, each Invasion map has some form of bunker/building that can provide cover from most all enemy vehicles.

Rockets can’t lock onto a flipping Banshee. Grenade Launcher has difficulty taking out targets in midair at middle to long range. Sniper Rifles and Spartan Lasers can’t fire through solid map geometry (yet XP). However, the plasma launcher makes short work of Falcons, the Focus Rifle makes for an excellent support/anti-infantry weapon, and the Fuel Rod Gun is great for anti-infantry carnage (especially in the top of the Spire). It may not be perfect balance (an impossible feat), but no one can convince me that the maps and weaponry have not been balanced to near perfection.

>

However, that would destroy the basic foundations of Invasion. Invasion is supposed to be like a campaign mission in player vs. player matchmaking form. No where in the Reach campaign, nor any other Halo campaign, can you find a Covenant NPC wielding a human weapon, barring weapon swapping and/or Easter Eggs. Nor do you see the Master Chief starting off a campaign mission with a Covenant weapon, barring extenuating circumstances. Remove this separation of arms, and the whole charm of the Invasion gametype is removed because the suspension of disbelief is shredded to pieces. Invasion is supposed to tell a story, and every player has his or her own role in that story. Two opposing forces meet for the first time, wielding the weapons they were assigned in the armory. Should they decide to swap weapons along the way, more power to them.

In addition, balancing weaponry exactly would destroy the asymmetric base of Invasion. Invasion is like basic Territories, One-Flag, and/or One-Bomb combined into one frenetic game. Some of the best asymmetric maps in the history of the franchise (Relic, to name one) hardly gave each team equal opportunity to all weaponry; some weapons will spawn closer to one team, and others will spawn closer to the other team. The key is to balance weapons and abilities asymmetrically— that is, both teams do not have the same weapons, equipment, and abilities equally available to them. That’s also why it’s difficult to create a matchmaking-quality Invasion map; balancing all of those variables, as well as map geography, is a long and difficult process of give-and-take.

Bottom line: The game has to make sense in the universe of Halo, and it has to play like a completely asymmetric gametype. Otherwise, you’d have a 6v6 version of Team Objective.

> No where in the Reach campaign, nor any other Halo campaign, can you find a Covenant NPC wielding a human weapon

Bit of an -Yoink!- point here but having played through Halo 2’s campaign for the first time yesterday (how did it take so long?!), there were indeed Covenant with Human weaponry, the Heretics. Though it’s a bit of an irrelevant point seeing as I agree with you,it should feel like you’re playing through a part of campaign in a way.

I do agree that true, exact balancing would completely screw it all up, but having said that, I still think that the weapon balancing is slightly leaned towards to Spartans each time a little too much, despite whether the Spartans are offense or defense. You say that the Sniper or Laser can’t shoot through solid geometry, but then, can any weapon? There is too much anti-vehicle power in the Spartans’ default loadouts but then, that’s more of a problem with the game engine itself than Invasion.

I love invasion, its one of my favourite gametypes, but I completely agree. The lack of maps is terrible. I can’t remember the last time I played Breakpoint in the invasion plalist. I only ever get to play invasion breakpoint in Premium battle. There are some AMAZING invasion maps out there. The one where the spartans board the covenant ship made by Rifte Gifle (Think thats his name. He’s a brilliant forger) as well as one made by someone on forgehub thats based on the mission “The ark” from halo 3. Can’t remember the bloke (Or lass) who made that. And another one I have downloaded is one where the spartans board a blow up a forged scarab. Invasion NEEDS to add these maps as well as more to have a better variety of maps and attract more people.

I also think the spartan loadouts need to be changed. For example instead of giving the spartans armour lock with shotgun, give them armour lock with assault rifle and magnum. The elite loadouts could do with a tweaking too. Spartans get armour lock and shotgun and elites get sword and hologram. Everyone knows shotgun > sword and hologram is a terrible armour ability that puts me off using the sword loadout. I think the sword loadout should have evade (Or sprint?) like in the beta, just to give them abit of a boost.

> I love invasion, its one of my favourite gametypes, but I completely agree. The lack of maps is terrible. I can’t remember the last time I played Breakpoint in the invasion plalist. I only ever get to play invasion breakpoint in Premium battle. There are some AMAZING invasion maps out there. The one where the spartans board the covenant ship made by Rifte Gifle (Think thats his name. He’s a brilliant forger) as well as one made by someone on forgehub thats based on the mission “The ark” from halo 3. Can’t remember the bloke (Or lass) who made that. And another one I have downloaded is one where the spartans board a blow up a forged scarab. Invasion NEEDS to add these maps as well as more to have a better variety of maps and attract more people.
>
> I also think the spartan loadouts need to be changed. For example instead of giving the spartans armour lock with shotgun, give them armour lock with assault rifle and magnum. The elite loadouts could do with a tweaking too. Spartans get armour lock and shotgun and elites get sword and hologram. Everyone knows shotgun > sword and hologram is a terrible armour ability that puts me off using the sword loadout. I think the sword loadout should have evade (Or sprint?) like in the beta, just to give them abit of a boost.

100% agreed. There are already great maps out there and I doubt they haven’t been strenuously play-tested.

Also, if one were to use the environment of Forge World rather than just fashioning an entire map purely from blocks, the item count wouldn’t be much higher than most competitive Slayer maps, where everything is a block.