Last Spartan Standing- my take to lay on the pile.

Last spartan standing is not a new gamemode by any means.
and it’s not a battle royale… there. I said it.

LSS a neo-GunGame where you get loadout changes based on kills. sound familiar? it’s been around since the custom server days of quake and HL2: death match. the rules are simple;

  1. a kill (or set number of kill points) progresses you to the next weapon
  2. each weapon is harder to kill with,
  3. the first person to get a kill with the worst weapon (a knife in their case, there was no melee) wins.
  4. the game may be team-based or free for all
  5. some varieties allow for point stealing via disrespect kills (backstabs, 360’s, dominations, etc)

To an LSS player, this should sound more like Last Spartan Standing than Apex legends or fortnite or pubg. You can see how it works; because the weapons get harder, the game is always neck in neck, with built-in balance where worse or faltering players get better weapons, and the game allows any player to keep scoring till the end.
this is how the LSS fails.

  1. by giving players better weapons for killing with worse weapons, even a slight difference in skill or luck is made extreme. Only 8.3% of the players in a game win. on average, if you’re not one of the best 3-4 players in the server, your chance of winning is near-0.
  2. random powerups introduce randomness, making them the end-all kingmakers if they fall near a good player. That both can be used at once allows an insurmountable challenge to have-nots.
  3. including limited lives changes priority from good combat to good survival. cowards survive. as such, getting a powerup (and the mangler) and hiding is the easiest way to win, as a couple melee hits is worth more than any gun, and the mangler eats people just a bit faster, for the price of a couple early potshots.
  4. the game’s “highlight” feature removes a great deal of tacticality from cover shooting or sneaky movements, you glow bright red, so good luck not being spotted by anyone who spawns behind you or whoever you peek at around a corner.
  5. a combination of long ranged TTK, small map size, refilling health end emphasis on looking for one-sided kills to survive, the game becomes almost exclusively about third party tactics. Nothing is wrong with this, but the game enables it to the point where I’ve seen a chain of half a dozen spartans chasing each other over a ramp, each getting one kill and dying.

As well, there are a number of bugs in the game overall, that make it unplayable:

  • the servers are not fast enough to register melee fight properly, so damage may not be registered, or a fight won on screen can result in loss. this is beyond frustrating in a gamemode that actively punishes loss, yet supports melee, let alone in a game where melee is better than guns.
  • the servers have no way to realize a key has been unpressed if a packet is dropped or the server lags. This makes entire keys unusable, or at times only usable, from odd portions of a second almost a third of a minute if the unfortunate party has a lag spike, or even if the server hitches.
  • players may spawn in the “danger zone” and immediately die or take damage prior to joining fights, further punishing imperfect play or server/communication issues by basically holding the player hostage and making them die repeatedly.
  • players may spawn in view of each other, and often do multiple times per match.

it takes a lot to make me dislike a gamemode, but a gamemode where doing well gives you better guns, there are random double hp and invisibility drops (sometimes on spawn), you can spawn in front of someone, the servers can take up to 12 seconds to register random keypresses, two players can see a different fight when in melee range, and spawns can happen inside hazards, it’s just nonfunctional from a game design standpoint. It would work in other games, but Halo’s gameplay just doesn’t mesh well with it in this interpretation.

places his opinion on the pile, gingerly and softly, before walking away.