What can Halo 4 do for Halo multiplayer that previous games did/didn’t do? I’m gonna do my best to make a comprehensive examination of these elements and I am looking for some input from other people on things I miss. I’d like to say that I am aware of the idea, spirit and reason behind certain features of the game, and I’m going to do my best to remain aware of all these things - keep in mind that these are just my suggestions. I’ll start with the big four.
> Everyone’s talking about it, so let’s start here.
> Halo 1 had no ranks
> Halo 2 had a strict win/loss 1-50 in each ranked playlist
> Halo 3 had military ranks that used the player’s highest skill out of all their 1-50 TrueSkill levels in the variety of ranked playlists.
> Halo Reach had a seasonal arena with five divisions (formerly best rating, now win/loss), and rank was earned separately through playtime activity.
> What can we best pull from all of these?
> - Highest Skill/Seasonal Arena combination: An win/loss, TrueSkill-weighted 1-50 arena with seasonal resets. Players keep their Highest Skill rating through season changes, which is displayed on their service record.
> - Divisional Arena: In combination with the above arena, individuals are rated daily and numerically based on their best four games. This places them into a division, after a number of rated days, which the matchmaking system uses to find more balanced games. Further ratings further sort divisions just like Reach. Current division and previous seasons’ division is displayed on the player service record.
> - Aesthetic ranks like those in Reach, separate from Arena ranks.
> The key to all three of these systems (Numerical Level, Division, Rank) working is how they’re displayed. If Halo 4 uses a player preview section like Reach, where the player’s gamertag, rank, personalized spartan, and other quick info can be seen at a glance during pregame, than Halo 4’s version should include a clear indication of the player’s Highest Skill, Current Division, and Aesthetic Rank.
> Players need incentive to play competitively. Bragging rights is part of that. I would also suggest some armor that is exclusively unlocked by getting placed in a division in Arena, and if Challenges make a return to Halo 4, make a daily challenge that requires a player to get their daily rating in Arena.
- Shooting Mechanics
> Previous games incorporated:
> - Bullet spread/randomization
> - Reticule Bloom
> - Hitscan
> - Shot Lead
> - Halo 1 Bloom (Unseen, but existing)
> Everyone has their preference, so what works best? I’d like to say get rid of bloom, except in situations where long battles occur. If the player is using a bloom-implemented weapon, and they fire at the weapons max ROF for longer than half the clip, then bloom begins to take effect. So, if a weapon has 12 rounds, bloom starts if the player fires six shots at max ROF and continues firing. So, pacing shots is still necessary, but not as frequently.
> Now, hitscan or bullet lead? How about both? Recall the Sabre fighter from Reach. It used hitscan, but instead of firing dead center, the shots had to be fired at an extended lead-targeting reticule. Taking hints from this system, I think we can combine the best of both worlds. Inside of a weapon’s intended range, hitscan works as intended, but if a target is out of the intended range of a weapon, then there is a hidden hitscan reticule that the player must hit based on the range. This simulates shot lead but maintains the elimination of random game elements.
> Speaking of eliminating random game elements, bullet spread needs to be inactive until the above bloom takes effect. Other than that, all shots from precision weapons should come out dead center. The only other reason that the targeting reticule needs to be bigger than the target space of a shot is bullet magnetism, which exists in all Halo games.
- Weapon Palette
> Halo 1’s weapons all had unique features, and since then, the games afterwards drifted away from that concept. Halo 2 tried to make a Covenant/Human equivalent for everything, and Halo 3 followed suit even as more weapons were added in. Reach changed this. Except for the DMR/NR and PRepeater/AR, all weapons in Reach strive to be unique and differentiable from one another. And the NR even succeeds in having different enough features than the DMR that players choose one over the other in different scenarios. I think that the idea behind Reach’s weapon palette should make a return, but personally, I miss my BR, Beam Rifle, Carbine, and SMGs. I also think the Plasma Repeater just isn’t necessary with the Plasma Rifle already in place.