Reduce 'On-The-Rails' and invisible walls

Firstly, I am NOT talking about super bouncing or glitching out of maps etc. Now on to the topic…

Halo CE you were able to explore and find multiple paths to points in the game, same as Halo 2.

For example Outskirts had me replaying the missions heaps of times just to discover going over the rooftops while still engaging the ‘below scripted path’ enemies and checkpoints etc.

Replayability and that wonder of finding your own path through campaign is some of my fondest memories of Halo campaign.

Now with Halo 3 & Reach we see a stricter campaign path that has you limited by invisible walls that just ruin the immersion and feeling that you have control over your progression.

For example Sierra 117 mission was an opportunity missed to recreate the same sort self discovered path of getting to high ground and still progressing with the ‘scripted’ lower chasm paths. Very akin to Outskirts in that respect.

Instead invisible walls stopped a Spartan from climbing out of a turkey shoot for pretty much that whole mission.

I hope Halo 4 really goes back to the roots of this type of gameplay in campaign. It will -

  1. Increase replayability.
  2. Maximise player immersion.
  3. NOT hinder new players to the game or the scripted paths/events.

Halo: ODST, that is all.

> Halo: ODST, that is all.

I really wasn’t a fan of the ODST opening sections through progression and back track at every turn. It was boring for me and I found most of it redundant.

Stick with missions like Halo CE, 2 & 3.

The mission in Halo CE where you are finding survivors was great for choosing which section to do first.

Upgrade that sot of gameplay with some timed or random events so if you visit area 1 first different enemies or patrols are there. Go to aread 3 first and perhaps enemy activity is more intel and light infantry based etc.

Do them in a different order next time and it’s different again, they could even randomise the deployments to keep things interesting.

There’s more that needs to be addressed than just invisible barriers. AI being removed from the level and AI movement restrictions. In CE, you could get multiple mass gatherings of Covies. In the other games, the AI are removed at certain points. Worst of all, they’re stuck to where they spawn. They can’t leave their birthplace like Zealots in CE could.

It would make encounters more interesting. Reinforcements, firefight scenarios, AI shooting at you from higher positions (for example, you jump off the ledge into a group of Covies, Covies from previous area hear firing shots/spotted you and are now coming your way. You’re trapped, back against the wall, and you have to fight your way out), etc. are much better than stragglers scattered throughout the level doing nothing except causing lag.

Of course, there are times when stragglers can be useful (i.e. on Halo 3, kill Arbiter while he’s near an enemy, keep an enemy alive, if possible, get him stuck, and that will make it more convenient. One such scenario is on Sierra 117).

Reach seemed “COD like”, less on rails -Yoink- would be a wonderful thing. Halo fans used to know how to drive.

> There’s more that needs to be addressed than just invisible barriers. AI being removed from the level and AI movement restrictions. In CE, you could get multiple mass gatherings of Covies. In the other games, the AI are removed at certain points. Worst of all, they’re stuck to where they spawn. They can’t leave their birthplace like Zealots in CE could.
>
> It would make encounters more interesting. Reinforcements, firefight scenarios, AI shooting at you from higher positions (for example, you jump off the ledge into a group of Covies, Covies from previous area hear firing shots/spotted you and are now coming your way. You’re trapped, back against the wall, and you have to fight your way out), etc. are much better than stragglers scattered throughout the level doing nothing except causing lag.
>
> Of course, there are times when stragglers can be useful (i.e. on Halo 3, kill Arbiter while he’s near an enemy, keep an enemy alive, if possible, get him stuck, and that will make it more convenient. One such scenario is on Sierra 117).

I can see the need for most of what your saying but I believe that most of it is due to resource limitations of the current xbox console.

Maybe just maybe Halo 4 will introduce a new xbox console next year as well and the wishlist we’re creating here at 343i forums would have ‘more to work with’.

In the current generation I see the ‘rails & bullet sponges’ being the best of the worst choices by the developers.

> I can see the need for most of what your saying but I believe that most of it is due to resource limitations of the current xbox console.
>
> Maybe just maybe Halo 4 will introduce a new xbox console next year as well and the wishlist we’re creating here at 343i forums would have ‘more to work with’.
>
> In the current generation I see the ‘rails & bullet sponges’ being the best of the worst choices by the developers.

Yeah I think so too.

I also forgot to mention how it sometimes deletes weapons the moment you look away. This happens in big battles, but it was the worst and most obvious in LNoS, which didn’t have any big battles. The LNoS infinite beach battle sometimes lagged.

A new console is mandatory for the battles that we demand.

Indeed.

God yes! Less invisible walls, please? Especially the really stupid ones. There’s been countless times that an opening has appeared at an angle that I could easily walk up. It looks so inviting, but wait - what’s this?! It’s a bloody invisible wall! If you don’t want players going over there don’t make it look so damn inviting! I mean seriously, how many of you people tried walking up that snow section on the ONI: Swordbase level? -_-

> God yes! Less invisible walls, please? Especially the really stupid ones. There’s been countless times that an opening has appeared at an angle that I could easily walk up. It looks so inviting, but wait - what’s this?! It’s a bloody invisible wall! If you don’t want players going over there don’t make it look so damn inviting! I mean seriously, how many of you people tried walking up that snow section on the ONI: Swordbase level? -_-

100% THIS!!!

> Firstly, I am NOT talking about super bouncing or glitching out of maps etc. Now on to the topic…
>
> Halo CE you were able to explore and find multiple paths to points in the game, same as Halo 2.
>
> For example Outskirts had me replaying the missions heaps of times just to discover going over the rooftops while still engaging the ‘below scripted path’ enemies and checkpoints etc.
> Replayability and that wonder of finding your own path through campaign is some of my fondest memories of Halo campaign.
>
> Now with Halo 3 & Reach we see a stricter campaign path that has you limited by invisible walls that just ruin the immersion and feeling that you have control over your progression.
>
> For example Sierra 117 mission was an opportunity missed to recreate the same sort self discovered path of getting to high ground and still progressing with the ‘scripted’ lower chasm paths. Very akin to Outskirts in that respect.
>
> Instead invisible walls stopped a Spartan from climbing out of a turkey shoot for pretty much that whole mission.
>
> I hope Halo 4 really goes back to the roots of this type of gameplay in campaign. It will -
>
> 1. Increase replayability.
> 2. Maximise player immersion.
> 3. NOT hinder new players to the game or the scripted paths/events.

I am not one to support glitching out of maps but your example was a great one.
You can play the game normally or find that grenade jump that leads you fight atop the apartments on that level. Good stuff.

YES. I enjoyed the different paths you could take in the second level of Halo 1. 343i need to bring back the incentive to explore the maps in depth, it really added to the replay value.

For example, exploring the maps in Halo 2 actually rewarded you with secret weapons. Anyone remember the stashed Energy Swords and Fuel Rod Cannons? Or even… The Scarab Gun?

> > There’s more that needs to be addressed than just invisible barriers. AI being removed from the level and AI movement restrictions. In CE, you could get multiple mass gatherings of Covies. In the other games, the AI are removed at certain points. Worst of all, they’re stuck to where they spawn. They can’t leave their birthplace like Zealots in CE could.
> >
> > It would make encounters more interesting. Reinforcements, firefight scenarios, AI shooting at you from higher positions (for example, you jump off the ledge into a group of Covies, Covies from previous area hear firing shots/spotted you and are now coming your way. You’re trapped, back against the wall, and you have to fight your way out), etc. are much better than stragglers scattered throughout the level doing nothing except causing lag.
> >
> > Of course, there are times when stragglers can be useful (i.e. on Halo 3, kill Arbiter while he’s near an enemy, keep an enemy alive, if possible, get him stuck, and that will make it more convenient. One such scenario is on Sierra 117).
>
> I can see the need for most of what your saying but I believe that most of it is due to resource limitations of the current xbox console.
>
> Maybe just maybe Halo 4 will introduce a new xbox console next year as well and the wishlist we’re creating here at 343i forums would have ‘more to work with’.
>
> In the current generation I see the ‘rails & bullet sponges’ being the best of the worst choices by the developers.

My money is on this too. I remember ‘speculation’ that the new xbox console was to be announced early 2012 and released late 2012.

I really do hope this is the case. The current hardwear of the 360 is starting to become dated. It felt that way when i got Reach. I remembe thinking to myself, “i think that this may be the limit of what the old girl can produce”

If so, and if we will be seeing a new console, i hope to see a similar level system to that of Halo CE’s, Halo mission.
Multiple ways of getting to Objective A, and even crossing back through path A to objective B or even C.
Think about it, we’re now on a new unknown forunner planet (device). How much exploration could be achieved while finishing objectives.

No i dont want this to become a RPG or even RPS like Borderlands. But less restriction will be nice.

It’s entirely possible for 343 to create a campaign that encourages exploration. Reach is a good example of both how to do it, and how not to do it.

Reach’s terrain is very detailed and exploration-friendly. For example, the bars beneath Tip Of The Spear’s catwalks (at the BXR Mining facility) are all solid and walkable, allowing you to skip past all enemies at the catwalk and get straight to the dirt section with the staircase. You can also sequence-break by stacking a Warthog on top of a Wraith, and buddy-jumping onto the roof via the front of the building. Long Night Of Solace’s beachhead scene showed similar potential; it was possible, through clever use of a Drop Shield and Concussion Rifle, to climb up the side of the building (though not all the way to the top).

The problem with Reach wasn’t that you couldn’t explore it; it was that that exploration was usually worthless. When it comes to usefulness, Tip Of The Spear’s sequence-breaking jumps were the exception, not the rule. Reach’s missions didn’t cater to explorers; there were few to none alternate paths to take, or advantageous firing positions to find. In fact, most exploration ended in invisible walls, invisible ceilings, Soft Kill Boundaries, or large pits in the geometry from which the only escape was grenade-based suicide.

The environment design for Reach lends itself well to exploration, if little else. If 343 uses similar environment design while taking the resulting exploration into account when designing gameplay, then Halo 4 could be quite a bit better.

> There’s more that needs to be addressed than just invisible barriers. AI being removed from the level and AI movement restrictions. In CE, you could get multiple mass gatherings of Covies. In the other games, the AI are removed at certain points. Worst of all, they’re stuck to where they spawn. They can’t leave their birthplace like Zealots in CE could.

The technical limitations you describe have already been dealt with. The “fix” just isn’t applied to all AI, for performance reasons.

Some NPCs do still vanish when exiting their “home” loading points; Exodus’ Concussion Rifle Brute, for example. But several others will voluntarily cross from loading point to loading point, without vanishing or becoming non-functional. And if you force those NPCs into the “wrong” loading point, they remain in the level (though if they have no AI for the new location, they won’t do much).

As an example: in Halo 3’s “Floodgate”, I made it to the end with a few Elites surviving… So I pushed an Elite and the Arbiter into the crashed ship. I kept pushing them through the ship; eventually, Arby vanished, but the Elite remained present. He refused to move on his own, but if I popped a nearby Flood pod, he would fire on the Infection Forms (and sometimes move to dodge them). His AI was still active; he just had no scripted movement for the area.

The Halo series already has AI that are “free” to move wherever they choose. It’s just a matter of making they know where “wherever they choose” is.

> It would make encounters more interesting. Reinforcements, firefight scenarios, AI shooting at you from higher positions (for example, you jump off the ledge into a group of Covies, Covies from previous area hear firing shots/spotted you and are now coming your way. You’re trapped, back against the wall, and you have to fight your way out), etc. are much better than stragglers scattered throughout the level doing nothing except causing lag.

This would be quite interesting. Given what is already known about the Halo game engine, it would require that all AI squads have movement instructions, cover markers, etc., for their “home” loading points in addition to all nearby loading points to which they could travel.

The difficulties I can see arising have to do with memory limits… The game can only have so many active AI in a scene at a time. Allowing all AI to move freely between loading points would basically be allowing squads to combine. If a merged squad is too big, the game engine could get overburdened; each individual squad would have to be made smaller, to handle the possibility of them combining at some point during gameplay.

I think.

Delta Halo… I’ve never seen a level that massive. There were no invisible barriers. You could go literally everywhere; including under the lake and to the top of the mountain. As a bonus, you could bring Ghosts and even Scorpions up there.

> God yes! Less invisible walls, please? Especially the really stupid ones. There’s been countless times that an opening has appeared at an angle that I could easily walk up. It looks so inviting, but wait - what’s this?! It’s a bloody invisible wall! If you don’t want players going over there don’t make it look so damn inviting! I mean seriously, how many of you people tried walking up that snow section on the ONI: Swordbase level? -_-

How many of us have tried to walk up the hills on Tsavo Highway? I know I have. I support less invisible walls. Campaign exploration is fun, if you don’t want us to go there, don’t put there an invisible wall, make the place actually hard to reach. If we can get there, give us the right to explore.

I understand that developers don’t want the players to go everywhere, but players like it. I for example like getting out of maps because I can see how the actual structures of the game are built, I have learned so much because of exploring maps. Giving players the ability to get out of the playable area also gives so much more chances for easter eggs, something we all like.

Less rails, less walls. More fun, more freedom, more exploration,

Outskirts <3

I loved doing on the rooftops, and that Easter Egg in blood and the Indestructible Warthog.

But back on topic, I loved going on the rooftops and finding ways to get around or find new spots to get a strategical advantage. Bringing that sort of gameplay back would be awesome.

It would be like having a sandbox type campaign mission, but with some limitations via unreachable or blocked off areas.

I mean c’mon, if we want to explore, let us! Chances are that we already played and beat the level, so let us have some real fun and let us check out everything you guys made, including the roofs/forests/deserts!

> I understand that developers don’t want the players to go everywhere, but players like it. I for example like getting out of maps because I can see how the actual structures of the game are built, I have learned so much because of exploring maps. Giving players the ability to get out of the playable area also gives so much more chances for easter eggs, something we all like.

Again, I can’t help but agree with you.

Anyway, I sometimes get the feeling that game developers don’t want us to stray from the “allowed path” for a very simple reason: embarrassment.

What I mean by that is that game developers want to hide the not-so-nice edges of a map from us. Instead of seeing the mountains in the far distance behind the lake on Delta Halo and marvelling at them, accepting them as the “edge of the world” we can’t go to, we actually can go there with a simple grenade jump. And what do we see there? The void. Blackness. End of the map.

I’m convinced that the developers don’t want us to see that because it doesn’t look very nice. Well, of course it doesn’t! But that’s not the point. We, the players, don’t want to go there to say, “man, that looks ugly.” We know that it has to look like the edge of the map because it … well, it IS the edge of the map. That’s fine and doesn’t bother us.

We want to go there because we love exploring. We love leaving the trodden path and searching around for stuff you otherwise wouldn’t see. And even if we don’t find anything, we still love doing it just for the sake of doing it. Although, to be honest, at least I wouldn’t mind finding a little something every now and then; e.g. the initials of the person in charge for creating that map.

Just as another example, the best easter egg ever in any game is the message “You werent supposed to be able to get here you know” written on a wall in GTA3. The developers obviously knew that players like to go where they’re not supposed to go, and that they’ll not give up until they succeed. And the devs prepared for that, rewarding the players with that message. Pure genius!

And while I don’t expect something like that in future Halo games, I at least hope for the possibility to leave said trodden path. There’s no harm in it even if we accidentally trigger a bug, or whatever. We expect that to happen, and we don’t care. Should we really trigger a bug that prevents us from completing that level, so be it. That’s what the “restart mission” option is for. :slight_smile:

Halo2 and 3 felt the most linear to me. Linear and rail-moments are genre staples that do not need to go, but their approach needs more setpiece action to distract from the momentary lack of movement control.

The Falcon ride on the TotS could have been longer and with a more imaginative pilot. Our Falcons could get shot out of the air to protect us and -Yoink- :wink: Hell, let the player choose to pilot the Falcon or ride sidemount…