Lets talk about weapon sandboxes

The weapon sandbox of Halo has changed dramatically with each game. In Halo: CE most weapons were unique. There were few weapons, but each had their use and you were guaranteed a kill with each one of them.

Halo 2 saw the introduction of Precision Rifles, Brute Weapons, and Dual Wielding. I can’t truly comment on Halo 2’s sandbox because I haven’t played enough games.

Halo 3 kept largely the same sandbox as before, however most matches delved into a BR/AR/Power weapon fest. Few weapons were ever actually utilized, mostly because they were useless without dual wielding, or because they were re-skins of other weapons.

Halo: Reach had one of the best sandboxes. You had the Needle Rifle which was a variant of the DMR. It was more accurate, yet had more bloom. It could fire faster but do less damage. Paired with the supercombine it could truly be a weapon of force in regular slayer. It was its own weapon, not a reskin of the DMR. Each weapon was fairly balanced from the beginning, yet they each had their moments they would shine. They were versatile and unique.

Enter Halo 4 and we have a problem. There are too many weapons. Things like the SAW, Sticky Detonator, and Railgun were great implementations, and it shows. People pick these weapons up all the time. However the primary weapons were just reskins of each other. The only unique primary was the Carbine.

So why is it important to have a unique sandbox? It makes the game more fun and competitive. Halo 3’s sandbox was undersaturated, a “one gun game” as it is said. In AR starts if you had a BR you could expect 10+ kills at the minimum. In Halo 4 it didn’t matter what weapon you chose. The sandbox was oversaturated.

343i needs to strive for a sandbox like Halo: CE or Halo: Reach. They both had a small, unique sandbox. In a match of either people will be using a whole bunch of weapons that actually turn the tides of the game. I hate to say it but a bunch of weapons need to be removed from multiplayer. Either that or placed on certain maps.

> Halo: Reach had one of the best sandboxes. You had the Needle Rifle which was a variant of the DMR. It was more accurate, yet had more bloom. It could fire faster but do less damage. Paired with the supercombine it could truly be a weapon of force in regular slayer. It was its own weapon, not a reskin of the DMR. Each weapon was fairly balanced from the beginning, yet they each had their moments they would shine. They were versatile and unique.
>
> Enter Halo 4 and we have a problem. There are too many weapons. Things like the SAW, Sticky Detonator, and Railgun were great implementations, and it shows. People pick these weapons up all the time. However the primary weapons were just reskins of each other. The only unique primary was the Carbine.

I’m calling BS on that.

The Reach Plasma Repeater is unique, but the 4 Storm Rifle isn’t? The 4 Carbine and Reach Needle Rifle are unique, but the 4 LightRifle isn’t?

Halo 4’s weapon sandbox was the best in the series. The primary weapons aren’t reskins, they’re all unique with different attributes. Strengths and weaknesses.

The Suppressor was the best primary for close-quarters engagements. It had the fastest rate of fire, but had a large spread, making it poor at long-range engagements. The Assault Rifle was better for longer distances, but didn’t perform as well at close range. The Storm Rifle performs similarly to the Assault Rifle except that it kills faster, but it uses a plasma battery rather than magazines, meaning it has limited ammunition and also cannot be reloaded.

The Battle Rifle and Carbine were the best marksman rifles for close to mid ranges. The Battle Rifle’s three-shot burst made it powerful for headshots, but its recoil and inaccuracy made it less viable at long range. The Carbine was also potent at close-mid range, because it has the fastest rate of fire of any marksman rifle, but does the least damage, meaning that more shots need to hit their target for it to be effective, requiring good aim and making it less powerful over range. The DMR and LightRifle were better at longer ranges with their accuracy. The DMR loses to the Battle Rifle and Carbine up close, but with its accuracy and bullet speed, it beats them at range. The LightRifle is more powerful than the DMR, taking one shot less to kill, but its projectiles travel slower (doesn’t make sense because it’s a LIGHTrifle, but oh well), meaning you need better accuracy to master it.

This kind of balance provides a more diverse and rich sandbox than seen in previous Halo games. Did anyone ever use the Plasma Rifle? Or did anyone ever drop a Battle Rifle to pick up an Assault Rifle? Not really, because some weapons were just useless (Plasma Rifle, Spiker, etc.), and the Battle Rifle and its cousins were clearly superior to everything else. Now, one has to think about their situation and avoid certain engagements depending on their weapon selection, and all weapons have a purpose.

Regardless, it doesn’t matter if they’re “unique” or not. It’s because each faction needs their own weaponry. The Covenant need the Storm Rifle and Carbine, the Prometheans need the Suppressor and Lightrifle, and the UNSC need the Assault Rifle and BR/DMR. We can’t have the Covenant using Assault Rifles and the Prometheans using Battle Rifles.

Too many guns in Halo 4 are designed to do the same things as others.

I would prefer less weapons, with ALL of them being completely unique/easy to differentiate, and all with completely different skills and purposes.

I don’t need 9 machine guns.
I don’t need 17 precision, medium-ranged rifles.
All of the similarities create imbalances.

For example, if I’m mid-range, open-area fighting with somebody, I want us to be using the same mid-ranged, open-area weapon, unless somebody wants to take a chance and use a long-ranged weapon and squeak out a more difficult, but faster kill.
Same = win determined by skill.

Maybe there will be another mid-ranged weapon that’s more difficult to use, but it can shoot through walls (without letting the user see through walls, or be told it’s on target, but showing the potential victim they’re being targeted).
This would create strategy in regards to which mid-ranged weapon you choose and how you approach situations.
If you want to shoot people through walls, you’d better make sure the enemy isn’t out in the open, or he’ll most-likely win if he has to other mid-ranged weapon.

Give weapons different and noticeable differences.

Too many factors are never a good thing.
I want to know what my enemy is using, and why it’ll beat me in some situations, and won’t in others.
If we’re using the same-purposed weapon, it should come down to skill.

Why Halo 4 has the BR and the DMR, I’ll never understand. Totally unnecessary randomness.

Theirs so many weapons now… and starting with Br’s or DMR’s make all CDC weapons practically useless.
I think they should focus on CQC gameplay on small maps with dual wielding disabling sprint. Make Br’s, Dmr’s, etc map pickups like they were in Halo 2,3.
start off with an assault rifle and pistol. Make all powerweapons map specific in proper locations. I actually wouldn’t mind if they kept the ordnance system too.
But having CQC and dual wiedling as the main focus would really make Halo 5 the most versatile sandbox ever without threatening weapon balance.
If DMR’s and long range rifles are starts, then the game will be balls like reach and Halo 4.

I wouldn’t put 4’s overabundance of weapons down to bad design, I’d put that down to them needing forerunner weapons in campaign.

The solution I see is to take out the unnecessary ones from MP(leave them in forge mode and customs though) but there were a few i felt were completely unnecessary. The boltshot was useless, and the DMR makes no sense being there since it was a prototype of the BR. Also the SAW was just not balanced for MP at all and is completely OP.

Halo 4’s weapon sandbox was objectively the worst in the entire series. There are several reskins of currently existing weapons (some with overall better stats than their competitors), Halo 4 had the MOST OHK weapons in the franchise (most with no possible way to counter them besides the Binary Rifle, which had a laser indicating the user’s position), the Promethean weapons were absolutely uninspired, didn’t convey the feeling of “wow, these weapons were used by an ancient race of aliens that could create and destroy galaxies in the blink of an eye,” but instead we got again, reskins of already existing weapons like the pistol, rifle, assault rifle, sniper, rocket launcher, and shotgun. I could go on for days, but we already know the facts. Halo 4’s weapon sandbox was designed by fools, as well as implemented by fools when the idea of Personal Ordnance was introduced.

I am so scared of Halo 5.

Glad to see my post was read.

I agree, we need a sandbox similar to Halo 1 and Halo Reach. The other games missed the mark and either had a bunch of useless weapons or re-skins.

Personally, I think the ideal sandbox would include the following:

  • Start with Halo 1’s weapons (Xbox version)
  • Simplify hitbox multipliers to represent the recent games
  • Reduce the Magnum to a 5-6 shot kill
  • Add the Battle Rifle from Halo 3 with a slightly slower RoF and 12 bullets to kill with headshot
  • Add the Plasma Launcher, Focus Rifle and Grenade Launcher from Halo Reach
  • Add the Energy Sword and Gravity Hammer
  • Rethink Forerunner weapons so they are different and interesting (neither were met in Halo 4)

That would give a sandbox with unique weapons that are balanced.