Reach and Halo 4's Ideal Range Systems

Today I am going to give an overview of the range systems of Halo 4 and Halo Reach, and the problems both systems bring to a game.

Basically, you have weapons that are based on range.

I------I-------I-------I------I------I
Shotgun;AR etc; BR etc;DMR etc;Sniper

This is not a mathematically exact diagram for the weapons, but is just a rough sketch of a “rock, paper, scissors” mechanic for how the game would idealistically be designed. The shotgun will obviously dominate in close quarters combat, but at a farther range, the AR will be able to avoid those deadly one shot kills. The BR user should be shredded by the AR user at a certain range until it is out of the AR users intended range. The DMR should fill the gap between the BR and the Sniper Rifle, etc. This system would allow for a balanced system of gameplay without a dominant weapon. There are more weapons available and they should fill the gaps in-between these five or possibly extend them further in the case of the other rifles and snipers.

Halo Reach (while an imperfect Counter-Strike clone) tried to fill these range gaps with weapons that could fire at longer ranges when shots were timed. A successful system like this should have favored learning timing of shots for different weapons at different ranges and even allow AR users a very slim chance of countering a poor or distracted sniper user. This did not work as effectively as in other games because the reset on the bloom/recoil was too small and fast, and the mid-range weapons could still be effectively fired at mid-range with quicker shots. This led to a highly unwanted factor of randomness that allowed players to win without timing shots at a proper pace. Not to mention Bungie forgot to make up for slower game pace by increasing weapon damage to accommodate for the added bloom system. Game pace was a huge problem in conjunction with the “no bleedthrough” change, and other pace slowing problems like armor lock.

Halo 4 does not have the same problems Reach has (to my knowledge), but must balance the use of more weapons to fill range gaps (without Reach’s Counter-Strike bloom system) and allow the ability to counter players at farther ranges. Misuse of this system led to unequal use of weapons in previous Halo games. Halo 4 still has the problem of players being unable to defend from other players at farther ranges and less used weapons, but this isn’t a flaw as long as 343 allows for a good distribution of play space to accommodate each range niche based on map size, function and associated game types.

So, those are the advantages and disadvantages of each system until someone comes up with a better and fairer way to play.

Did I just read “ideal rocks, paper, scissor mechanic”?

Rocks, paper, scissor is never ideal. Victors should be decided by skill, not which ______ they are carrying.

> Did I just read “ideal rocks, paper, scissor mechanic”?
>
> Rocks, paper, scissor is never ideal. Victors should be decided by skill, not which ______ they are carrying.

A complex type of rock, paper, scissors mechanic is used in every single multiplayer game you have ever played from Age of Empires, to WoW, and Unreal Tournament, etc.

They try to balance weapons in terms of projectile speed, damage, range, accuracy, and rate of fire in most fps and tps games. Unless you go for the lesser known realistic military simulations that are meant to accurately portray real weapons.

In the system of play Halo supports, skill involves knowing when to use certain weapons at their proper ranges, and relies on proper map support of weapons.

Guess who wins when everyone has zero bloom DMRs off spawn? The superior player.

> Guess who wins when everyone has zero bloom DMRs off spawn? The superior player.

The superior player would still win with a better “bloom/recoil” system. Which is why Counter-Strike has been hailed as one of the most skillful and competitive games in the history of fps by competitive players. Limiting factors like weapons and accuracy in gametypes is great to show the larger gap between the most skilled players proficient in ranged weapons, but you cannot simply base an entire game around turning/replacing every weapon into one perfectly accurate weapon, or providing a bunch of useless weapons under the premise they are only there to help less skillful players get a kill. Which is not the reason other weapons in games exist.