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.
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.