Proposed Halo 4 MP Elements from Past Games

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.

  1. Ranks

> 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

CONTINUED

  1. Armor Abilities/Equipment

> What to do, what to do…
> - Make one default ability in a gametype, and one space for a pickup ability.
> - Default ability has a recharge/unlimited, pickup ability is no recharge/single use.
> - Default ability is acquired on spawn, pickup ability is acquired by pressing X.
> - Toggle between default ability and pickup ability using D-pad.
>
> For example, have sprint (which, I think, has become a pivotal element of the Halo game thanks to Reach) as the default ability, and on a given map, let’s say there’s a Jet Pack and an Active Camo unit. You can pickup the Jet Pack with X, toggle to it using the D-pad, use it, then toggle back to sprint and use it. When (default) sprint depletes, it recharges after a few seconds, but when the Jet Pack depletes, it disappears. If one pickup ability is even slightly used, then swapping it for another pickup eliminates the first without leaving it on the battlefield. IMO, Sprint should be matchmaking’s default ability, and loadouts differing from sprint were a complete fail except in custom games.
>
> So, what Armor Abilities and Equipment should become Halo 4 abilities?
> 1. Only one Power Up - The Custom. Have a Blue, Red, and Yellow Custom Power Up, changeable in game settings, but eliminate the old Camo/OS bubbles.
>
> 2. Armor Lock - The vanilla Reach version of this ability would work well in Halo 4 as a pickup. Since it can only be used until it loses its charge, repeated abuse is eliminated. The invincibility aspect of the pre-TU version also fills the gap left by Overshield.
>
> 3. Active Camo - As I said, eliminate the bubble, but keep the ability. This way a user can pick it up and choose when to use it. Make it like Reach, where running causes it to lose charge faster, but don’t add radar jammer to it, since it’s only single-use.
>
> 4. Radar Jammer - No. This only returned to Reach to balance camo, and that’s no longer necessary.
>
> 5. Flare - Hell no.
>
> 6. Jet Pack - It would be great as a pickup, as opposed to Reach where it can be abused as a loadout. Give it a little more charge so it can be used longer, but be reasonable.
>
> 7. Drop Shield/Regenerator/Bubble Shield/Deployable Cover - The Reach Drop Shield really balanced the Regen, Deploy Cover and Bubble Shield. Make it return in Halo 4, but with the size of the Bubble Shield. It should also only be damaged by melee from the outside, so that it at least serves a function against multiple assailants who would otherwise destroy it rather quickly. The inside can take damage from anything.
>
> 8. Evade - This is the one of the only two AAs that I think should get more than one charge as a Halo 4 pickup. It still needs to be limited, but make it three charges that allow two evades per charge before it fully depletes, for a total of six.
>
> 9. Hologram - This is the other AA that needs more than one charge. I think it should allow a player to send out three Holograms before it depletes, with a delay equal to Reach’s. However, make these suckers more convincing! Make them take more shots before dissipating, so players think they’re firing at a real target. And don’t make them translucent; that gives it away. Make them look solid, and appear on radar as a red dot like a player.
>
> 10. Power Drain, Trip Mine, Grav Lift, Sentinel Turret - The remaining equipment pieces from Halo 3 are unnecessary. The Armor Lock has a Power-Drain and EMP feature for those who get to close, the trip mine pales in comparison to the amount of anti-vehicle weapons in the Haloverse now, the Grav Lift is overshadowed by the Jet Pack, and the Sentinel Turret was only in Campaign and didn’t belong in multiplayer.

  1. Damage tables

> Before I get started here, I’m going to avoid individual weapon damage tables. We can’t accurately guess how well weapons will be balanced in a game we haven’t seen, but I would like to see a standard.
>
> Handheld weapons should not have faster kill times than a larger weapon unless it’s at its max ROF at close range.
>
> An automatic utilitarian weapon needs a slower kill time than a precision weapon at close range. It’s easier to spray an automatic weapon at a strafing target than to pinpoint shots. The automatic SHOULD win, but not unless the precision user is unable to lay down all accurate shots.
>
> Utilitarian precision weapons need to always be the optimal mid-range tool. Handguns and automatics should not be reliable at the same range as a rifle.
>
> Melee needs to be reduced to three hits to kill. Two to remove shields, and include bleed-through effect.
>
> Grenade damage needs to be toned down slightly, but the standard for Halo has been for plasma grenades to instant kill if stuck or walkover, and two frags to kill in most situations unless the victim has less than half shields. As long as they follow this, they are fine. The splash damage needs to be reduced, though. Spartans’ shields, by now, should be able to resist shrapnel. I should be able to stand alarmingly close to a frag and take little damage, and the only way a plasma should kill me at full shields is if it meets the above conditions.
>
> Balance fall damage. Instead of taking shield damage, just take health damage from a fall. This means a fall can still be fatal, but otherwise, you still walk away with full shields and a slight speed reduction for your first few steps after. Call it unrealistic or even minimalistic, but that’s what it should be. I need to be able to make a few leaps of faith here and there in fast-paced gameplay, and I don’t want to be afraid to wait for my slightly-damaged shields to come back if I’m making a daring chase or getaway off a ledge.
>
> I believe in near-indestructible vehicles and exposed drivers/passengers. If a powerful vehicle is placed on a big map in Reach, it can’t be neutral. One team will try to take it, and the other will quickly destroy it. So what we get is symmetrical vehicle spawns, where no good team will proceed with a game until the enemy’s vehicles and all anti-vehicle equipment is out of the enemy’s control. This just isn’t the spirit of Halo. A vehicle needs a lot of health, vulnerability to a few select heavy weapons, and some driver and passenger protection that can be removed to expose said driver/passenger. This way, if one team gets a vehicle, the other team can opt to try to destroy it, or taking the harder route of eliminating the driver in order to commandeer said vehicle for themselves. For example, a tank may require two laser shots to destroy, or two sniper shots to expose the canopy, but otherwise it’s near-invincible, so that it can actually change hands when it’s defeated. A Warthog, thanks to speed, does not need to have a protective driver canopy, as it’s already hard to snipe a driver, but it should take a single laser shot to kill and be otherwise difficult to damage with non-heavy weapons.
>
> As a rule of thumb for any other damage topic, remember that overpowering something and then making something else more powerful against it does not equal balance.

Your thoughts so far?

RESERVED

I like your equipment idea, though Im not sure about all the others.

No AAs, no equipment. Nothing like that.

Your gun/melee/grenades and your brain vs the other players.

> No AAs, no equipment. Nothing like that.
>
> Your gun/melee/grenades and your brain vs the other players.

Since I’ve been playing Anniversary so much lately, I’d like to concur, but this thread is essentially about compromise. The Halo series evolved, and we have to evolve with it. I’m just searching for the best possible solution to make sure that these elements return to their role as accessories.

I like your ideas, but i think that rank and credits for Armor should be separate. That rank of “50” should be enough bragging rights for you. Armor should be able to be bought at any rank, but a higher rank should earn more credits then a lower rank player.

> 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.

I kind of like this idea.

Scrap the whole part about AA’s. They don’t belong in Halo.

> I like your ideas, but i think that rank and credits for Armor should be separate. That rank of “50” should be enough bragging rights for you. Armor should be able to be bought at any rank, but a higher rank should earn more credits then a lower rank player.

No doubt I agree. The cR system in Reach is fine for aesthetic ranks, so I would keep it, so long as the other two systems are implemented with enough incentive to play ranked. Also, armor needs to be more costly, so cR still means something all the way up to the highest ranks.

> Scrap the whole part about AA’s. They don’t belong in Halo.

I hate AAs, but sprint has become instinctive and doesn’t get in the way. Converting the other abilities into single-use equipment similar to Halo 3 seems like a good compromise. Honestly, Halo 3 equipment didn’t even get in the way often. I can see this idea being very successful, but I am obviously biased to my own thoughts.

> I hate AAs, but sprint has become instinctive and doesn’t get in the way. Converting the other abilities into single-use equipment similar to Halo 3 seems like a good compromise. Honestly, Halo 3 equipment didn’t even get in the way often. I can see this idea being very successful, but I am obviously biased to my own thoughts.

Sprint does get in the way. Halo has the shield system to have long enough kill times to travel from cover to cover without sprint being necessary. It creates hectic gameplay with players sprinting off spawn to clean up a one shot or running away when being shot at. Map design is also negatively influenced by sprint. Maps need to have stretched flat areas (Boardwalk) to accommodate for sprint so we no longer can have maps like Midship, Lockout, Guardian, or Warlock that are small with plenty of tight spots/curves. Expect to see maps similar to the ones in Reach if sprint is confirmed for Halo 4.

/Sprint should die

I also think the movement speed should be as fast as it was in Halo 3, as well as the jump height be as high as it was in Halo 3. Sprint will be faster of course. and Jet Pack will get you to higher places. Your idea of Armor Lock is great and it should be a pick upon vehicle maps…with tanks, where it would be very useful as a defense against the tank and woudl mean life and death.

Basically agree with everything you just posted OP, well done. Love the ideas, mirrors most of my thoughts and ideas exactly.

I have to admit that I would NOT want AA’s in multiplayer, however there are players who do want AA’s, players who think they’re extremely fun to play with.

Maybe AA’s should appear in Halo 4, but just not in matchmaking, ONLY in Forge or Customs.

Or maybe split playlists and have one with AA’s and the other without.

The problem is people think AA’s should be completely taken out because of their own feelings. I don’t like AA’s either, but I know people who do. You could easy seperate those different kind of players into playlists of their own liking, most people wont like that because their selfish, even though they don’t have to play with AA’s the fact that they are in the game makes them hate it. That is an idiotic way of thinking, as much as I hate to say it.

> No AAs, no equipment. Nothing like that.
>
> Your gun/melee/grenades and your brain vs the other players.

THIS^

stronger weapons in general,no melee lunge,no hit scan, plasma rifle stun,faster movement speeds, and absolutely no bloom, lower jump height, jumping over someones head and assassinating them is a little silly, no? Halo should be more about strafing rather then jumping around when people are close, keep health and fall damage for sure!!

> > No AAs, no equipment. Nothing like that.
> >
> > Your gun/melee/grenades and your brain vs the other players.
>
> Since I’ve been playing Anniversary so much lately, I’d like to concur, but this thread is essentially about compromise. The Halo series evolved, and we have to evolve with it. I’m just searching for the best possible solution to make sure that these elements return to their role as accessories.

It evolved in terrible directions and it’s time to reel it back in.

> > I hate AAs, but sprint has become instinctive and doesn’t get in the way. Converting the other abilities into single-use equipment similar to Halo 3 seems like a good compromise. Honestly, Halo 3 equipment didn’t even get in the way often. I can see this idea being very successful, but I am obviously biased to my own thoughts.
>
> Sprint does get in the way. Halo has the shield system to have long enough kill times to travel from cover to cover without sprint being necessary. It creates hectic gameplay with players sprinting off spawn to clean up a one shot or running away when being shot at. Map design is also negatively influenced by sprint. Maps need to have stretched flat areas (Boardwalk) to accommodate for sprint so we no longer can have maps like Midship, Lockout, Guardian, or Warlock that are small with plenty of tight spots/curves. Expect to see maps similar to the ones in Reach if sprint is confirmed for Halo 4.
>
> /Sprint should die

This guy knows

I really failed to see the impact sprint had before. On the one hand, I was aware that it presented frustrating cat and mouse scenarios but still considered pros over cons, yet on the other hand, I was completely blind to the way in which Reach seems to have to stretch out a map just to work with sprint, radically changing the way the more compact-styled maps would be oriented. You’re right - old fan favorites would not find a place in a sprint-driven Halo game, and that bugs me more now than it had previously.

I could say that Halo 4 could incorporate a classic playlist with throwback maps to previous games, but we’ve seen how that panned out, and now there are five different types of Reach, splitting its tiny population into bits. TU, ZB, Classic, MLG, and Vanilla. It’s getting sad.

I want to see Halo 4 do things right. I also know that throwing out entire game elements rather than tweaking and evolving them will be viewed largely as a step backwards, resulting in a lower population - and frankly, I want more people to play the Halo series. I care about population.

no armor abilities
no classes
1-50 ranking system

> I have to admit that I would NOT want AA’s in multiplayer, however there are players who do want AA’s, players who think they’re extremely fun to play with.
>
> Maybe AA’s should appear in Halo 4, but just not in matchmaking, ONLY in Forge or Customs.
>
> Or maybe split playlists and have one with AA’s and the other without.
>
> The problem is people think AA’s should be completely taken out because of their own feelings. I don’t like AA’s either, but I know people who do. You could easy seperate those different kind of players into playlists of their own liking, most people wont like that because their selfish, even though they don’t have to play with AA’s the fact that they are in the game makes them hate it. That is an idiotic way of thinking, as much as I hate to say it.

LOL… i can see AA’s working as a pickup. Like if your -Yoink- didnt get the rocket launcher, hope one of your teammates got the one time use armor lock to hopefully give you time enough to kill the Rocket launcher guy. An alternative strategy, to everybody running for power weapons.

I’d like to see the JetPack be a default ability, that way I think 343 could make their maps have more playable areas. That’s what got me exited about the Jetpack in Reach, and I was kind of disappointed to find out that just about every area that you could reach with a Jetpack had a soft kill boundary. But I understand, since that would make JetPack as an optional ability overpowered. But if everyone had one, I think it could work. Given it’s just my idea, and it may not work as good as I hope. If not, I at least hope Jet Pack stays in Forge and custom game options, because it opens up a lot of possibilities.