Sandbox Suggestions

Good afternoon everyone,

I would like to start by saying that I believe the sandbox in Infinite is a healthy one. 343 has taken the niche/role approach with weapons, and it shows. I.E. The Pulse Carbine being extremely potent at a specific range, but not much else. This is, in my opinion, the best approach for an arena shooter like Halo. Not every weapon needs to be viable at every range and every circumstance.

However, there is room for improvement. I am approaching this through the lens of a competitive player who wants to see each weapon be useful. The goal is to walk over a weapon and have to consider its uses, rather than outright dismissing anything. Also keeping in mind I am not privy to the same data 343 is. I do not know how the population at large is handling these weapons and the success they are or are not having with them. I am also aware that some of my opinions may be unpopular (Sidekick).

Note: I am also discussing multiplayer balance, not campaign/PvE.

I will break down the sandbox on a weapon-by-weapon basis:

M40 AR: The balance of this weapon is more or less fine but is outperformed by its companion, the Sidekick.

Pulse Carbine: I’d like to see it’s RRR (red reticle range) expanded a bit. It is useful and strong at a particular range, but that range is a bit too niche for regular use.

BR75: Perfect

VK78 Commando: Alright, so. This is the weapon that inspired me to even bother making a thread. It needs love. Not necessarily in the damage compartment, but the fact that it forces the user to fight the gun is unfortunate. It’s a cool weapon, but is also outshined by the Sidekick. It requires a decent amount of RNG and a frustrating amount of recoil. My suggestion would be to reduce the recoil and bloom. For a precision weapon, it is terribly inaccurate and inconsistent. It is, in every conceivable metric, a worse BR.

Shock Rifle: Perfect

MK50 Sidekick: Perhaps unpopular, but it needs a nerf. It was designed to be a secondary weapon, but in most circles (certainly high level play) it is the primary weapon. I see what 343 was going for here, perhaps a compromise for the folk who want BR starts. A precision-based starting weapon that doesn’t have the range of a BR. But it’s rate of fire makes it superior to the AR. My suggestion would be to reduce the rate of fire and the bloom. More accurate at a longer range, but will lose to the AR at the AR’s intended range.

Mangler: Perfect

Plasma Pistol: Make the charged bolt track more. A lot more. Like, Halo 2 levels of tracking. Give me a reason to pick this thing up and also a reason to be worthy of sharing a weapon rack spawn with the Mangler.

Disruptor: For all the complaints of this thing being useless, it’s not. It EMPS vehicles with ease and has a decent range. The issue is that it shares a spawn with the Mangler and in that regard will always fall short of its sibling. I wouldn’t be opposed to removing this from arena maps that don’t have vehicles.

CQS48 Bulldog: Perfect

Heatwave: I like its damage. I like its range. But it’s harder to aim/use than the Bulldog, which often results in me wishing it was just a Bulldog instead. All in all, I’d say it’s fine but perhaps change how its horizontal firing mode works. There’s little reason to use that instead of the vertical. Change: Make vertical the default firing mod, change the horizontal to be one of special use, like a utility use. Slight tracking around corners, perhaps. Like the Didact’s Signet from Halo 5.

Sentinel Beam: Perfect

Needler: Perfect

Stalker Rifle: Perfect

S7 Sniper: Perfect

Skewer: Perfect (though I’d like to see Spartans get pinned to terrain when hit)

Cindershot: A bit more AoE. Where it’s at now isn’t bad. It’s a strong weapon, but this thing shares a spawn with the rocket launcher. Which would you rather have?

Ravager: The second reason I wanted to make this thread. I love this gun. I think it’s cool looking, sounds cool, and is a nice spiritual successor to the Brute Shot. BUT… it sucks. Badly. Its damage is low, it’s rate of fire is low, and the projectiles arc which makes it difficult to land direct hits. So, my proposed changes come in options:

  1. Have the projectiles fire in a straight line (or significantly reduced arc, like the Mangler) and increase damage. 2 shot kill with direct hits.

  2. Increase AoE dramatically and damage, but keep the arc. This allows it to keep its grenade launcher identity while also being a feasible choice. A rocket launcher-lite, almost.

The secondary firing mode is creative and fine.

Hydra: Increase lock on and projectile speed.

M41 SPKNR: Perfect, although desync can create some frustrating experiences.

VEHICLES:

I won’t break down each vehicle specifically like I did the weapons, because I have the same complaint for all of them except the Ghost and Wasp. That complaint is that they are all too fragile. There is A LOT of anti-vehicle ordnance in this game, from EMPS, to heavy weapons, to concentrated fire, there’s simply a lot of things that can kill a vehicle. While I believe most vehicles (except the Banshee) do a reasonable and fair amount of damage, I would like to see them become more of a threat on the battlefield.

The Warthog is a classic example. It takes 2 people from your team to use effectively. If I’m going to allocate 2 people to anything in Halo, I want there to be a decent return for that investment. The Warthog’s damage is fine. The issue is that the thing simply won’t survive for long. The reason for this is that instead of using a player health-based model, each vehicle in Infinite (like all games since 3) has a finite amount of health. If you get stuck with one plasma grenade in a Warthog you’ve been doomed to die, even if it doesn’t outright kill you. You can no longer afford one more pass through enemy territory.

Compared to Halo 3 where you can take 2 plasma nades, but if you got out and got your shields back from the first one, you could keep rolling without fear of instantly dying.

I know vehicles can be frustrating for the more casual players to handle. But I am confident there are enough things in the game that can take them down to justify a bump in their health.

As I said, damage is fine. Except the Banshee. That thing needs a buff across the board.

I will not be going into equipment in this thread as I feel I am still forming opinions on the various pieces and, honestly, I think they are all quite good and have their uses.

That is all for now. Thank you for reading this far if you’ve done so, I really appreciate it. Have a nice day.

7 Likes

Remove bloom entirely but keep the recoil. The gun is hard enough to use as it is and you have to constantly fight the kick. It’s a precision weapon, and shots shouldn’t be determined by RNG. Also buff the body shot damage. This gun shouldn’t have to land 65% (13/20) of its shots for a single kill while the AR only needs 47% (17/36) of shots landed for a kill.

The Ravager needs to start being treated like a tier 2, because right now it’s barely a plasma pistol. The primary fire, like you said, needs to be a 2 shot with a full burst. It needs increased AOE damage and splash for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s classified as a launcher. This means it shoots grenades/explosives. It doesn’t do that right now. Instead it shoots a mostly pinpoint plasma blast.
  2. Visual design language. Everything about the Ravager screams “Powerful Explosion”. The size, the sound, the way the it fires, even its name. Most problematic is the explosions left by the primary fire. It looks like I’m hitting with splash damage, but in reality I’m doing almost nothing. It would be the same problem if the Mangler lost its melee boost. Visually it has bayonets, but they don’t do anything. It would just confuse the player.
    Also, its rounds arc toward the ground, visually telling players that you’re supposed to shoot the ground near the feet, or that pinpoint aim isn’t necessary. Honestly it feels more like a plasma rifle with weird physics sometimes.

The secondary fire is fine, damage-wise, especially if you can land a direct hit, but it needs some work. Either:

  1. The charge up time needs to be faster, or…
  2. The battery drain needs to be slower.

Right now I find myself struggling between, “Do I keep it charge and be ready for a fight, but risk draining my ammo in 15 seconds?” or “Do I save my ammo, but risk being caught off guard?” I don’t think a faster charge would be too bad especially since the charge is the only viable thing this gun is capable of.

Finally I think the AOE could be a bit bigger/last longer. Maybe not both, but either one could help the Ravager go a long way.

Good post btw :slight_smile:

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A Bucket and pail to make sand-castles.

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Very good points. I agree with these sentiments.

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In my opinion most vehicles are fine, but there are a lot of weird things where tiny pebbles in the ground are actually iceberg rocks that the devs didn’t disable collision on so everyone flips from hitting it at 190mph. These seem more like authoring problems but it’d be nice if the suspensions on these vehicles didn’t treat a single tread getting up on a rock like the entire vehicle rotated because of it.

I feel like I’d have more to say about vehicle health but the shader for whether or not they glow red or if they display their damage status at all on the vehicle model feels like a crapshoot, just like the shield sparkles on spartans disappearing before their shield regens.

I think for this, it should show a soft crosshair in worldspace to give you an idea of where the bullets will land. If in the campaign, it can be used like a mortar to flush out people by aiming straight up, I think it should serve that same utility in the multiplayer.

I’ve had to practice with this one a lot more and I like it for 4v4 most of the time, but it feels like it’s useless in big team with the range of it’s Red Reticle being so short like the carbine. I think either the lock on range needs to be extended and have the tracking on the projectiles get worse with distance or just make the projectiles faster in general to be more viable at mid-to-long ranges.

edit: FWIW I agree with most of your assessments but a lot of weapons I just don’t bother to get off the rack even in ranked. It’s just like I’m starting at a disadvantage most the time if it doesn’t spawn a good weapon near my team’s spawn racks.

I think the only thing I really disagree with is the sidekick and sniper. Sidekick I think is fine as is, and the sniper needs a quicker RoF, and pinpoint accuracy when noscoping, as of now it’s slightly random like back in Halo 2.

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My guy really did just type a paper on sandbox balance.

Anyhow, hard disagree on the sidekick. It’s pretty inconsistent to warrant any sort of nerf. And on the point of it outperforming an AR; it’s designed to do that.

The way 343 designed it, the AR sits between both the BR and the sidekick; intending it to be more of a rifle than the SMG everyone’s used to.

They’ve completely flipped the roles of the starter weapons. AR is more suited for close-mid range combat while the sidekick excels in short range period.

The problem is that the Sidekick outperforms the AR close and it outperforms the AR in mid range as well. Granted, if you miss a few shots with the Sidekick then the AR user will get the kill. I’m just saying that the Sidekick has a quicker kill time up close and is more useful at a longer range than the AR.

Like from balcony to balcony on Bazaar, for example. Sidekick has that one in the bag. Hell, the Sidekick can drop a CR too.

Personally I find Infinite’s sandbox rather pathetic, everything is mostly lethality focused with little room for utility.
AR: way too powerful and has relegated social gamemodes to bullethose spam

SK: lack of range and bloom make the weapon just unfun to use, anyone saying “it’s a secondary” needs to relearn how Halo’s sandbox works as Halo is not a game where “primary” and “secondary” weapon slots exist.

BR: way too easy, hitscan with high bullet magnetism ( plus heavy aim ) is unfun to fight

Commando: Halo Reach DMR 2.0 but now has recoil ontop of bloom

Skewer: trades the splasers balance for slightly higher skill requirement but is harder to play against

Cindershot: stupidly easy grenade launcher that is a guaranteed death in many cases thanks to generous splash and the negative impulse on the explosion

Ravager: it’s alt fire is a neat concept but the Brute shot did everything this weapon does but better.

PP: useless, it’s semi automatic fire does less shield damage than the sidekick and the lack of EMP on it’s overcharge means it mostly useless

PC: Poor mans Plasma Rifle that trades actual shield killing for being annoying and able to kill HP fairly well

Mangler: the best designed weapon added, though the Mauler had more potential for utility whereas the Mangler is pure damage

Sniper: Random bloom on hipfire because everybody loved bloom in Reach, right?

Bulldog: A worse shotgun that is lowers the skill gap while not providing a counter to the sword

Sword: mostly fine but the addition of sprint and slide makes the sword much harder to deal with ( and the lack of a proper shotgun )

Hammer: no physics utility because…?

Hydra: tracking weapons are still annoying to fight, though Infinite made the Hydra not a guaranteed death

Disruptor: basically replaced the PP in every way

Shock Rifle: it must be fun EMP’ing vehicles across the map with hitscan

Stalker Rifle: just uninspired really

Heatwave: almost fills the classic shotgun role, but ends up being a better bulldog

misc issues: recoil and bloom everywhere, lack of proper classic weapons and weapon roles and hitscan is way too prevalent,

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It can’t accurately hit at that range without pacing your shots. If you playing with bots on odst or higher, they don’t play by the same rules as the player. They have literal aimbot enabling them to crossmap woth anything if you’re spotted.

I’ve tried it many times and it’s just not a viable play with the sidekick.

Other than that, it’s just not possible to consistently do unless you’re really good or have aimbot. It most certainly isn’t outgunning a commando in its home turf. You’d get torn to shreds.

The sidekick needs a nerf to bloom degredation and to overall recoil. It is hideously powerful when in the hands of gamepad users, as there is next-to-no punishment for spam. Facing a gamepad user with a pistol is a deathtrap for M&K users, simply because they can track and beam you so much easier than a mouse can.

Mangler needs a longer spawn time.

Commando is hot garbage at the minute, due to recoil patern and bloom.

Keep vehicles out of fiesta and behemoth games.

We will have to agree to disagree on that. You aren’t likely to get a kill from balcony to balcony with the Sidekick, unless the players openly challenge one another and let that fight happen, but you can certainly dish out an alarming amount of damage pretty quickly.

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Im hoping they add more weight to the vehicles to prevent them to roll too often, as well as add more spread on the warthog turret (its too tight and feel like a long range weapon), I would make it match the demounted turret
The chopper also definitively need some love (maybe larger explosions with the projectiles and bring back the ram damage it had back in H3)

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100% agreed with the bit about the Chopper. It needs its splatter supremacy back. It feels so empty without it. Also, I feel the rounds it fires arc a bit too much.

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I fully agree with all of the OP.

I would go as far as to say at least double the vehicles health. But ideally yeah do the Halo 3 approach.

P.S. Sniper really needs to be pinpoint accurate. I honestly hate using it the way it is currently.