No Hate, But Why?

Each Mjolnir armor permutation is approached in same manner as writing an artifact entry or vignette in a pen-and-paper roleplaying game, with care taken to both make each one have some sort of cool ‘story hook’ as well as place it within a broader fictional context. However, the reality is that each REQ description is limited to about 240 characters once we account for localization and UI readability. Some armor sets require furrowed brows and multiple revisions to tell a story in this limited wordcount, while others practically write themselves. Instantly iconic designs such as the Achilles are examples of the latter!
Furthermore, some REQ items have extensive backstories created that are then summarized/distilled for the game description (the story of the River of Light is an example of this). This extra material is – initially at least - apocrypha (not canon), but can still be a useful source of inspiration or inform the description of a later item. For example, I have a whole library of skeletal descriptive strings and cool names that didn’t work for one item, map, or character but can be revisited and revamped at a later date. The Achilles is an example of an entry that has an unusually deep background and story created for it, some of which is explored here, and the rest of which remains in notes that are not yet part of the Halo corpus.
There is not enough room here to discuss the full context used to write Halo fiction strings, but critical background story threads that Halo 5: Guardians’ Mjolnir armor descriptions expand and explore include:

  • The diffusion and maturation of Mjolnir technology and standards. With little oversight and the promise of massive profits, even small industrial design firms and military subcontractors have begun exploring new directions and markets, using the common GEN2 Mjolnir software and exoskeleton as a springboard for their own innovations. For example, RKD Group designed the MIRMILLON-class armor, but contracted actual production with Korolev Heavy Industries and licensed the suit’s BIOS from Applied Heuristics. Even established, vertically integrated military-industrial concerns such as Beweglichkeitsrüstungsysteme no longer control all aspects of their suits’ tactical packages and software. - Normalization of neural interfaces in the population. Expensive and requiring complicated surgery when first introduced, neural interfaces and their mediating computing systems can be fitted in a simple outpatient clinical procedure by 2557. High-bandwidth interfaces can be paired with advanced expert systems to augment – and even bypass – the human motor system, reducing the physiological stress of high-performance combat exoskeletons to levels that do not require extensive skeletal reinforcement. This innovation, initially a secondary line of research during Project: MJOLNIR’s early days, was crucial for SPARTAN-III and SPARTAN-IV-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok so the above text can be found in the Universe section here on waypoint.
I have a very simple set of questions, it’s not loaded or meant to bash 343i, but I think it needs to be asked.
Why in the hell is there so much backstory for essentially every single REQ? Every armor piece, gun, you name it. Tons of history being created, tons of data about neural interfaces and civilian populations on planets that we will probably never play on? Why is this here? I mean sure, having backstory is important but from what I gather here, there’s like a short story written for every single item/place related to Halo.
And yet the story of the latest game is so vague and disconnected from the lore? How can the writing be so extensively researched, written and re-written, approved, etc, for the guns and then the main game’s story doesn’t get the same thought out process? Am I the only one who thinks the quality of the backstory should be replicated in the main games?
I guess, to me, I’m just confused about why they would sit down and really pin these weapons and armor’s stories down and then produce such a disappointing main storyline in H5. It reminds me of Destiny, where one gun had more character and backstory than nearly any of the actual main characters.

> 2533274857642512;1:
> How can the writing be so extensively researched, written and re-written, approved, etc, for the guns

I don’t think we’ve established that it is.

Besides, all of the characters and locations have similar blurbs. You’re confusing storytelling with lore. It’s plot vs. trivia.

> 2533274953123640;2:
> > 2533274857642512;1:
> > How can the writing be so extensively researched, written and re-written, approved, etc, for the guns
>
>
> I don’t think we’ve established that it is.
>
> Besides, all of the characters and locations have similar blurbs. You’re confusing storytelling with lore. It’s plot vs. trivia.

Sure, but it sounds like there is a lot of work being put into NEW lore. And we haven’t even fleshed out the Forerunner lore entirely from back in the original days when the “Forerunners” were nothing but lore/background story. We’re just getting into that and the writing hasn’t been that great and yet theyre over here pounding out new backstories?

> 2533274953123640;2:
> > 2533274857642512;1:
> > How can the writing be so extensively researched, written and re-written, approved, etc, for the guns
>
>
> I don’t think we’ve established that it is.
>
> Besides, all of the characters and locations have similar blurbs. You’re confusing storytelling with lore. It’s plot vs. trivia.

I mean it’s great that there is background, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t really need that much. It sounds to me like there is too much thought going into lore and not enough thought being brought to the front of the story, to get all that lore to back the plot better.

> 2533274857642512;3:
> Sure, but it sounds like there is a lot of work being put into NEW lore.

…How so?

> 2533274857642512;4:
> to get all that lore to back the plot better.

I’m pretty sure that’s not how lore works.

" For example, RKD Group designed the MIRMILLON-class armor, but contracted actual production with Korolev Heavy Industries and licensed the suit’s BIOS from Applied Heuristics. Even established, vertically integrated military-industrial concerns such as Beweglichkeitsrüstungsysteme no longer control all aspects of their suits’ tactical packages and software."

"Furthermore, some REQ items have extensive backstories created that are then summarized/distilled for the ‘game’ description (the story of the River of Light is an example of this)."

"I have a whole library of skeletal descriptive strings and cool names that didn’t work for one item, map, or character but can be revisited and revamped at a later date. The Achilles is an example of an entry that has an unusually deep background and story created for it, some of which is explored here, and the rest of which remains in notes that are not yet part of the Halo corpus."

The first quote is a reference to the fact that there is a whole history for the production of this one suit of armor. ONE.

The second quote notes that some REQs (I’m going to assume the legendary/mythic ones) have extensive backstories, and cites a link to two whole paragraphs out of a short story that revolves all around the “River of Light” incineration cannon.

The third quote suggests that there is a large collection of used and unused backstories, some of which are shallow, some are deeper, longer and shorter.

The entire point I was making however, is not that this is necessarily harmful, but I fail to see why they have started taking the typically named weapons like “Sniper Rifle” or “Rocket Launcher” and creating variants with large backstories behind them that are rich with lore and background and yet Spartan Locke, the new main character, has almost no backstory around him. All we got was nightfall, and a few snippets of detail released in quiet dialogue.
My question is, why is there such a disconnect between the writing of all this universe-building and the writing of the most important parts of the universe?
If Spartan Locke, too, has this entire story behind him, then why is it so abbreviated? I can understand why they shorten the stories of these legendary weapons so they will fit the bill for just being a “weapon description” in the game menu, but has Locke had this done to him? Or does he even have a backstory other than Nightfall?
The question is, couldn’t all this energy be put into the main character? Because I really don’t give a damn where the SPNKR came from, but if you would tell me where the guy I play as for longer than the Chief came from or even what the hell his motivation is, then that would be good writing.
In short, write more about the plot and spend less time creating backstories and weapon variants.

> 2533274953123640;6:
> > 2533274857642512;4:
> > to get all that lore to back the plot better.
>
>
> I’m pretty sure that’s not how lore works.

If lore adds nothing relevant to the plot or the universe, then it is not lore but rather filler space.
Lore is legend. It consists of the stories that build and accelerate the story, or at least affect it somehow.
Giving me an entire background of why the Valkyrie armor was manufactured by a private company on some world in some place in some time by some guy in some year is not lore, its a waste of type space. Just put the helmet in the game and then put all that creative energy into writing the main story, you know the one that we actually play the games for?
I feel as though 343i wants to tell a good story but essentially gets caught up geeking out on how cool some armor would be and how great it would be if it tied into some very obscure reference in the books or how cool it would be if they made up a company that made the armor. I’d rather see serious development of the plot, rather than all of this excess being written for the in game menus.

> 2533274953123640;6:
> > 2533274857642512;4:
> > to get all that lore to back the plot better.
>
>
> I’m pretty sure that’s not how lore works.

If they could develop a plot for their main game that fleshed everything out better, then I wouldn’t care how much writing went into the backgrounds of REQs. But why would they create the story of some epic battle somewhere just for this one weapon’s in-game item description and yet not include something in the plot to give newer players a background on Blue Team or Locke? I’ve been around in Halo since shortly after the beginning so I’ve read several books and all that but Halo 5 still managed to go over my head, and I was disappointed at how much the story really didn’t need anyone except Chief and Cortana, with Buck as comic relief. Why was there not as much extensive background behind everyone else? Even has someone who knows who Blue Team is, it would have been cool if they had at least gotten a proper introduction!
But no, you learn a few snippets from banter from the teams in game and meanwhile, 343 is writing the story of how some mythic REQ saved an entire army or something.
That’s how it seems to me. If they can’t develop the main plot properly then I feel like the rest of this stuff should be put on hold until the main story is something I can really get into again. I cant get all excited about some stupid rifle variant that has some cool story around it. I could however, get excited about Locke if he got that same treatment.

Why are you complaining? Story = good

> 2533274845159952;10:
> Why are you complaining? Story = good.

Halo 5’s story sucked. My point is that the REQs got more explaining done for them than any of the characters in the game did.

It’s done by a different team. From what I understand they have their story writers, who work on plot, dialogue etc, and their universe writers who keep track of things to make sure there are no contradictions or inconsistencies and also create explanations for new features.

These guys wouldn’t necessarily be hired on the basis telling a good narrative, more so on the basis of their ability to read, write and keep track of general lore content. They don’t just do it for the games, they do it for every part of the Halo franchise. It helps the writers of the games, books, movies etc, as they have a resource to fact check and make sure they get things right.

> 2533274848539555;12:
> It’s done by a different team. From what I understand they have their story writers, who work on plot, dialogue etc, and their universe writers who keep track of things to make sure there are no contradictions or inconsistencies and also create explanations for new features.
>
> These guys wouldn’t necessarily be hired on the basis telling a good narrative, more so on the basis of their ability to read, write and keep track of general lore content. They don’t just do it for the games, they do it for every part of the Halo franchise. It helps the writers of the games, books, movies etc, as they have a resource to fact check and make sure they get things right.

So if it’s hard for 343i to get ahold of a better story writer, then why not pair up a team comprised of one of one of these background writers and a more story-oriented writer? I honestly feel like they have been diverting attention too many directions, like these H5 updates, and now they’ve started Halo 6. If the team is so busy and so spread thin, then of course nothing will be as complete as it could be. Halo 4 may not have been the ideal but it had more content, more story depth, more things to do, an easier-to-use forge, and a daily/weekly/monthly challenge system as well as file share and great community support. What happened to any of that? I think 343 has too much going on at once.

> 2533274857642512;11:
> > 2533274845159952;10:
> > Why are you complaining? Story = good.
>
>
> Halo 5’s story sucked. My point is that the REQs got more explaining done for them than any of the characters in the game did.

OP has a point right here. I love the armor lore and the little tid-bits on weapons. I just wish more effort went into the campaign story than all the background lore.

Because Microsoft wanted to cut all ties with halo 4 and forced 343 to make certain choices about the campaign.

I don’t know how long you’ve been a fan of halo but the extensive lore has always been a huge part of the universe. seeing little crossovers between the games and the books is amazing. and i’m sure we’ll see some of these weapons/armors/etc. in the future in one form or another.

> 2533274857642512;13:
> > 2533274848539555;12:
> > It’s done by a different team. From what I understand they have their story writers, who work on plot, dialogue etc, and their universe writers who keep track of things to make sure there are no contradictions or inconsistencies and also create explanations for new features.
> >
> > These guys wouldn’t necessarily be hired on the basis telling a good narrative, more so on the basis of their ability to read, write and keep track of general lore content. They don’t just do it for the games, they do it for every part of the Halo franchise. It helps the writers of the games, books, movies etc, as they have a resource to fact check and make sure they get things right.
>
>
> So if it’s hard for 343i to get ahold of a better story writer, then why not pair up a team comprised of one of one of these background writers and a more story-oriented writer? I honestly feel like they have been diverting attention too many directions, like these H5 updates, and now they’ve started Halo 6. If the team is so busy and so spread thin, then of course nothing will be as complete as it could be. Halo 4 may not have been the ideal but it had more content, more story depth, more things to do, an easier-to-use forge, and a daily/weekly/monthly challenge system as well as file share and great community support. What happened to any of that? I think 343 has too much going on at once.

What would that solve? These background writers are skilled in that area, and already lend their talents to the game and its story writers. What you’re suggesting is basically what they already do.

Halo 5’s lack of content is honestly more to do with the generational shift than being stretched too thin. It happens a lot, and this console generation seems to be the worst yet. Developers make the visuals nicer, but are struggling to balance that aspect of it with everything else. It’s one of the reasons that there are so few games exclusive to this generation, why many don’t really seem like much of an evolution over their predecessors, and why we’re seeing games split into different parts (MGSV, the FFVII remake).

The same thing happened last gen. Look at GTA 4. The visuals were certainly of a higher quality than its predecessor, there was undoubtably more onscreen, and yet there was far less actual content and features were removed.