I personally love the changes that are being made to Halo:Reach; I’m glad that the initiative to turn Reach back into the Halo that I love is being taken. However, I think that there are still some changes that need to be made to fine tune the effects of the No-Bloom arsenal. First off, let me start by saying that I think that 0 bloom is amazing, but it needs to be played with (explained further down). Here is my “100% Opinionated” argument for what needs to be done to the precision weapons to yield the best results; it is broken up for you:
I: Introduction - the old Reach
II: The effects of a Bloomless game
III: Rate of Fire - a fix
IV: Some final opinions
V: TL: DR
When the update was released, many of us rushed to our Xbox and were ready to experience the Halo Reach that we wanted since the beta. Finally, the removal of bloom was made and the randomness was taken out of fights. So what did this really do?
When you think about it, bloom was put on these precision weapons (DMR, Needle Rifle, Magnum) to cripple them and keep them balanced; Bungie clearly didn’t want an over-dependency on these weapons and that is completely justifiable because a one-weapon game isn’t particularly exciting or unpredictable. Bloom’s intentions were perfectly fine, but the way that it was implemented was catastrophic; many fights are settled by a “coin toss” and the gun didn’t really fire where it was pointed at under certain circumstances. A look at just about any Halo forum over the last year will tell you that bloom didn’t roll over so well with many players.
So what am I getting at? Well think about this:
The precision weapons like the DMR, NR, and Magnum were clearly the most reliable all-purpose weapons in the default Reach. So with the removal of bloom, the game has just taken the most reliable weapons and removed what was crippling them; the TU made the best even better. Inversely, the game just took the less dependable weapons (really, just about any weapon: ex: AR, Needler, Concussion Rifle, etc…) and made them even more useless. Now, I’m not saying this out of an outrage that I can’t use my T0tALLy L33T AR Skillz to destroy a DMR anymore, but it seems pretty useless to have an entire weapons sandbox consisting of one amazing gun and a bunch of pea-shooters.
Even if that doesn’t bother you, the removal of bloom has simplified the “golden duel” between precision weapons in every Halo game. Why do I say that? Any person that had some knowledge on how to use a Magnum in Halo CE and a BR in Halo 2 & 3 would agree when they say that movement is a HUGE factor in precision weapon duels. I would say that moving is as important as maintaining accuracy in a duel. I am referring to the the tactics that include strafing, jumping “Gandhi Hopping” (spamming the crouch button in midair), etc… to throw your opponent off in a duel.
What happened to that? Well the new bloom settings allow these precision weapons to fire incredibly accurately at a ridiculously fast rate of fire. What that means is that movement was thrown out the window. A magnum can kill in less than a second which means that you can barely take a single step before your opponent takes your life.
How can all of the issues be satisfied? People want a non-crippled gun that shoots where they point it; they want a gun that injects no randomness into their bullets. When they receive that, they get a weapon that dominates everything that IS Halo. How can these guns be re-crippled to fit back into their dominant, but not overpowering, place WITHOUT sacrificing their accuracy? By tuning the rate of fire.
If the guns are to shoot a bit slower, they will benefit everyone. The rest of the guns in the game won’t be completely useless, and the precision weapons will still be the most reliable guns with the biggest skill gap (aka: the gun will still be far more deadly when used by someone that is an expert with it as opposed to someone that doesn’t know the tricks with it). There would also be more skill involved when two precision weapons face off: maintaining accuracy on a moving target for even longer will take more skill out of the user.
The challenge lies within finding the perfect rate to which these guns need to be lowered to so that they aren’t useless, but they aren’t overpowering. Making the guns too fast (what we currently have) makes the guns hardly about maintaining accuracy and more about who shoots first. Making the guns too slow will make the guns utterly useless and we will be settling fights with the next best gun. When a perfect balance is made, we may be finding ourselves playing the Halo that we have loved for years.
Personally, I have always preferred Halo over any other FPS such as CoD or Battlefield primarily due to its unique health system. The fact that a fight is so unpredictable is what held my utmost interest in the game for so many years; the fact that you could have your back turned to an enemy, take a bullet from them, and COMPLETELY turn the tables out of them due to quick thinking, skill, and strategy. This has always been why Halo has sat at the top of my favorite games list. Now, the current rate of fire on a gun like the bloomless-magnum, a gun that kills in a second, makes the game feel more like CoD. You make one strategical error, the enemy gets the first shot on you and “OOPS! You’re dead. Better luck next time!” These precision weapons kill before a player can react to being shot, let alone has the idea that the player has been shot has even appeared in their brain.
TL:DR: If the rate of fire is tuned on the precision weapons (magnum, DMR, and NR) so that they fire slower, rainbows, sunshine, and sparkles will rain over Halo:Reach and everyone will be happy. If you want to know why, I think the OP might have explained it somewhere… I wonder where.