Multiplayer wishes: My humble opinion

I am a long-time Halo fan and have played every halo to date except for Spartan Assault which I will pick up on the 24th for xbone.

I played a ton of Halo 3, right up to the release of Reach and even a bit after. I then played a ton of Halo Reach right up to the release of Halo 4 and a bit after. Sadly, however, just 12 months after its release I am finding Halo 4 boring.

The graphics are great, weapons are awesome and perform amazing but the gameplay is lacking the simple/yet complex gameplay of the games that preceded it.

I have been watching a lot of Twitch lately, Halo 3 specifically and I noticed something that made me realize why.

Reach had armor abilities but still kept the core multiplayer experience. Sure some hated the additions but the abilities were just additions. Halo 4 fundamentally changed the multiplayer and thus lost the interest of hardcore Halo fans.

  • Weapon spawns and controlling them (H4 has less emphasis on this)
  • Grenade spawns and controlling them (You can pick your grenade in H4)
  • Special abilities spawns and controlling them (You can pick your abilities in H4 on spawn)

When you play or watch people play matches in Halo 3 and even Reach you see the first step in a match is to fight over the power weapons and power ups and to then keep track of when they come back so as to get them again.

This additional gameplay mechanic is extremely interesting to competitive players, takes out the randomness like in Halo 4’s ordinance drop (I hardly ever know where power weapons are on H4 maps because I don’t really need them) and created a sub-level of strategy besides map control and well, aiming prowess.

I am positive that if Halo 5 returns to the roots of even gameplay and advantage based on skill then the masses will return to this wonderful franchise.

In my humble opinion it is the best multiplayer experience out there, bar none.

Thanks for reading.

Map Control and Map Flow have been completely stripped away in Halo 4, which left blank, boring and in memorable maps (for the most part, some stand high above the others- like Haven and Harvest, there are more). Vehicles are the only thing left to rush to and fight for on the map, but they have become suicide machines now that the Plasma Pistol and the Plasma 'nades are available in Loadouts. In a sense, 343i threw the players into empty maps.

That is my biggest gripe with the new Halo multiplayer, right alongside the fact that half of the big gametypes were cut from Halo 4: Race- until recently, Assault, Invasion, Stockpile, Headhunter and Juggernaught (Dominion is a successor to territories and Regicide to VIP, so I didn’t mention them), and on top of that the whole list of Asymmetric gametypes (1 Flag, defender vs attacker gametypes). Thankfully, I think 343i has taken feedback regarding these matters to heart and will change them for Halo 5 (even if they won’t be JUST like they were before).

One thing I would like to say, though, is that weapon indicators and ordnance drops are a solid idea, but only if they aren’t used randomly (as in, a static weapon with static spawn times and no random stuff). I think most weapons on the map should not have them and should spawn as they did in Halo 1-3, but the most powerful of power weapons can actually make use of them. New players deserve to know that a Rocket a Launcher is spawning at the center of the map (if it was a Needler, for instance, it wouldn’t be necessary). Obviously, players that know the map layout and the weapon spawn times will still have the advantage, but new players will have a much deserved chance to get to the more game-changing weapons.

I agree with everything, with the exception of your opinion on map control and vehicles.

The importance of map control has not been stripped away, but is still extremely important in halo 4. In my opinion, the difference between a good and average team is not good aim or clutch skill, but the ability to position themselves well on a map. On Shutout, Snipe tower is the name of the game. A good team can defend it for days and days. On Ragnarok, controlling top mid, turret, and pelican effectively forces the enemy team to expose themselves in order to attack, whilst the team in control has cover everywhere. Forcing the enemy to spawn turret-side even gives free kills.

Map positioning implies you have 1)Control over weapon and power spawns such as laser and overshield, 2)Cover,greater protection from nades, and teammates to hide behind when your shields are weakened, 3) The ability to force the enemy into predictable chokepoints, disorganized teams will hand over free kills as they come through in small groups. 4) Good awareness from all teammates of enemies spawning, what they are carrying or driving.

Bad positioning means you have 1)No cover 2)No easy sightlines to determine when the enemies change position 3)Are unable to get power spawns like rockets, have limited options for attack.

A good team takes a position, holds it, and shifts their positions accordingly, they use superior numbers against scattered groups. They do not just walk around the map. Map positioning is everything.

As for vehicles, you must play cautiously. Yeah, a plasma pistol and a couple of sticky nades will kill you, which is why you must have good awareness and position yourself near your teammates in such a way that you secure yourself against such a tragedy. Vehicles are quite overpowered when used correctly, but again, only with the support of your teammates. A mantis alone is a mantis soon devoured by lurking spiders. A mantis with friends is the mvp of the unit. A banshee in the open gets picked apart, but a fleet and stealthy banshee is a veterans tool of destruction. The ghost is a mobile, armored, plasma cannon. It can dash in unexpectedly, and can be near impossible to escape, and can just as easily retreat itself. So then, it is only fair that they have their weak point. Even more so when that weak point can be guarded through caution.