State of the Warthog and Vehicles in General

Being an avid vehicle user, it didn’t take long for me to notice that vehicles had taken a backseat in Halo 4, and probably unintentionally.

The Warthog, and vehicles in general, have been reduced in usefulness to becoming basically obsolete to gameplay, especially in BTB, in which they are meant to be a focus. This is due to some very key design flaws with the game as a whole.

I’ll start by giving a run down of the Warthog, which will be my focus for around half of this post. The handling, in my opinion, is great, but the armor/health and the weapon stats on the chaingun variant are what caused the degredation of the Warthog into a deathtrap on wheels.

The Warthog’s armor is simply not strong enough. The amount of weapons that can quickly destory the Warthog is too high. Many of them players can spawn with. A major factor in the effectiveness/usefulness of vehicles, most obviously the Warthog, is the amount of weapons that can damage them quickly and substantially. The BR, DMR, and Light Rifle (especially so) are able to quickly whittle down the Warthog’s, and its operators’, health and destroy it with relative ease. This is partly because Halo 4 uses a toned down, slightly revised, version of Halo Reach’s vehicle system. Damage to vehicles will eventually destroy them regardless of the occupants’ statuses. This seems logical from a realistic point of view, but from a gameplay standpoint it is terrible. In Halo 3, if any occupant of the vehicle was still alive the vehicle could not be destroyed until the player was killed. This provided a more fair competition between vehicles and infantry, because infantry had to focus on the occupants of a vehicle rather than the actual vehicle, which is a much larger target. Going back to the point about starting/infantry weapons vs vehicles, the inclusion of the Plasma Pistol and Plasma Grenades as loadout weapons put an extreme dent in the ability of vehicles as a whole to take part in battles effectively. A single player can take down a Warthog or most other vehicles with loadout weapons. It takes a team to operate a Warthog; it should take a team to take one down. A fix on the Warthog’s part would be to increase the overall damage threshold it can endure, making it less vulnerable to loadout weapons and grenades, or reverting back to Halo 3’s vehicle health system.

Moving on to the Chaingun Warthog’s weaponry. In its current state, the chaingun can hardly compete with a single footsoldier, let along a group of them. The accuracy is comparable to mounting an automatic shotgun to the back of the Warthog. Since the chaingun is so inaccurate, it forces the driver of the Warthog to move into closer ranges, in which it is the most vulnerable, which amplifies the drawbacks fo the ridiculously weak armor previously mentioned. The damage done by the chaingun is also quite low, with a footsoldier being able to contend rather easily with it at almost all ranges except for close range, but this is partly due to the inaccuracy of the weapon to begin with. As it stands, the Chaingun Warthog is only really viable in close ranged or defensive engagements, and barely viable at all for offense. This can be fixed rather easily by tightening the bullet spread by quite a bit, increasing the damage, and/or increasing the time before overheating. The ideal solution, in my opinion, would be a combination of those.

To conclude my issues with the Warthog, I’d like to take a few sentences to discuss Halo 4’s BTB map design and how it plays a large part in forcing vehicles into the backseat they are currently in. The map design for Halo 4’s larger maps has been largely unforgiving for the Warthog and vehicles of all types. Every single BTB map, besides possible Ragnarok, forces vehicles along a specific path, making them predictable and forcing them into vulnerable, close range positions. The best example of this is Meltdown. The figure eight design does not allow for much maneuverability and it is almost certain that a vehicle will meet a group of infantry, most likely with some type of anti-vehicle weapon. On this map vehicles are forced to cross the bridge or area under it unless they want to tumble along the countless rocks strewn along these set vehicle paths. Vehicle gameplay is stale and simply unfair when there are set paths; this should have been obviously to 343i’s map designers. Previous Halos’ BTB maps have always been relatively open with room to maneuver, with “suggested” paths (ring around Sandtrap, for example), but these paths were not forced like in Halo 4.

Down below I’ve made several changes that could be made to Halo 4’s, and future Halos’, vehicles as well as revisions to BTB’s settings:
-Reduce amount of Loadout Plasma Grenades to 1
-Eliminate major power weapons from Ordnance (Rockets, Spartan Laser, etc)
-Remove Plasma Pistol from Loadouts; place on map and/or in Ordnance
-Revert to Halo 3’s vehicle system
-Design large maps with a focus on balanced vehicle play

If you made it this far into this post, I’d like to thank you for reading, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

without plasma grenades, the current Warthog can be pretty deadly if used right

plasma grenades break Vehicle combat WAYYYY too much

So you want to be able to run all over the enemy team with weapons unopposed? To my knowledge the weapons on a warthog far outstrip most weapons a player can start with and much further than they can throw a grenade. You know they have such weapons but yet people still drive into a base and complain it doesn’t last long? What about taking the smart approach and picking people off from a far before driving around their base to thin out their numbers?

> So you want to be able to run all over the enemy team with weapons unopposed? To my knowledge the weapons on a warthog far outstrip most weapons a player can start with and much further than they can throw a grenade. You know they have such weapons but yet people still drive into a base and complain it doesn’t last long? What about taking the smart approach and picking people off from a far before driving around their base to thin out their numbers?

the warthog turret is not as effective at long ranges

the warthog should be able to move in close to hostile, without being annihilated with seconds

So the complaint remains “I can’t last inside an enemy base and they killed me to quickly”… yeah still don’t understand.

I really miss the Warthog, ever since Reach, it feels as if it were made out of paper mâché. The loadout weapons SHOULD NOT put such a dent in vehicles, it hinders vehicle gameplay, which is a staple in Halo. We need the Halo 3 vehicle health, at least for the lighter vehicles.

I do like your suggestion about the H3 warthog idea. Also you do make a point about the forced paths. Meltdown really only has one path, same with exile. At least vortex and longbow have some variation of paths to take.

Too bad nobody votes for them…

> So the complaint remains “I can’t last inside an enemy base and they killed me to quickly”… yeah still don’t understand.

the effective range for a warthog is about BR range
what you’re describing is those morons who use the warthog like a military-grade Snowplow
those guys deserve to get blown up

but the ones who drive at an effective mid-range should not be punished for doing so

> > So the complaint remains “I can’t last inside an enemy base and they killed me to quickly”… yeah still don’t understand.
>
> but the ones who drive at an effective mid-range should not be punished for doing so

Like a Warthog crew who has good communication. These people deserve to do well and not be sniped from across the map be DMRs and other loadout weapons. I remember on Standoff how a good Warthog crew can last the entire match without being taken out. They deserve that, and giving a player a crutch to spawn with ruins this.

So what is an acceptable K/D for a vehicle 12/1? 14/1? 16+/1? Or just one vehicle should be able to last the entire match?

And your not getting punished at those ranges. Your vehicle is faster. The turret has a higher rate of fire and the DMR will need to reload long before your turret overheats. If you keep moving and apply steady aim you should do fine. Getting shot? Drive around. Getting charged? Drive away before they throw a grenade.

> So what is an acceptable K/D for a vehicle 12/1? 14/1? 16+/1? Or just one vehicle should be able to last the entire match?
>
> And your not getting punished at those ranges. Your vehicle is faster. The turret has a higher rate of fire and the DMR will need to reload long before your turret overheats. If you keep moving and apply steady aim you should do fine. Getting shot? Drive around. Getting charged? Drive away before they throw a grenade.

a good warthog crew should last about 5-10 kills
but if they are epicly good, they should have the ability to go the entire match if everyone on the enemy team is too stupid to try and take it out

the gun is not the problem, the speed is not the problem
the problem is Plasma grenades are too plentiful to make a warthog even useful anymore

simply “driving away” will not protect you from Stickies, only one is needed to rid of the driver, and only two to destroy the entire vehicle, and it’s not rocket science to know how to throw one at a vehicle

One player can easily take out a warthog by himself, just by spamming right trigger

> So what is an acceptable K/D for a vehicle 12/1? 14/1? 16+/1? Or just one vehicle should be able to last the entire match?
>
> And your not getting punished at those ranges. Your vehicle is faster. The turret has a higher rate of fire and the DMR will need to reload long before your turret overheats. If you keep moving and apply steady aim you should do fine. Getting shot? Drive around. Getting charged? Drive away before they throw a grenade.

A large target moving at a high speed is still an easier target than a smaller one moving at a lower speed.

The ROD doesn’t matter when it’s inaccurate over range, where the DMR excels. It’s also hitscan, so it’s incredibly easy for a DMR user to shoot at a Warthog at any range.

Play a game of BTS, you’re forced to get close to a target due to the turret’s lack of accuracy. The minute you get close, you get EMPd, and before you can move again, even with Wheelman, you’ll get EMPd again and stuck.

Play smart, that is all

I don’t get close. On Exile I would go so far as the bridge when the approach drive away. I don’t need to get kills with it. It is a suppression weapon and with it I force them to stay in cover for a few seconds so another squad mate gets them or I get them.

And the gauss hog is one shot kill on Spartans so again I see no problem with those vehicles at all.

But that is just my opinion and experience.

I love that you brought this up OP, and I totally agree. Vehicles in halo 3 werent invincible like in CE, but also werent cardboard like in reach and halo 4. IMO, a near-perfect balance.

The only problem is that reverting back to halo 3’s system now would cause a chain reaction of other problems. If you care to read my in-depth analysis of the chain of problems, be my guest, or just skip to the bottom and I’ll sum it all up:

One problem is that the ordinance system will still allow players to drop splazers and rockets at their feet, increasing the max amount of power weapons on the map from a set amount (like one splazer on valhalla) to several (rockets and incineration cannons become available on a map like ragnorock that didnt feature them in the first place).

The other issue I see is the plasma pistol/sticky grenade problem. In halo 3, it only took one sticky to kill a warthog. Spawning with two would make the warthog as useless as it is now, if not more. Even spawning with one could be op to warthogs on the maps if players team-frag opposing hogs. But then taking out the stickies completely would only leave people with only two grenade choices, as well as two sidearm choices if the pp were removed, making the purpose of loadouts in halo even more redundant than they already are.

The third issue you brought up was the chain gun. While I also wish to see the accurate (and non-overheating) chain gun brought back, you also have to consider the fact that players could “abuse” this mechanic to their advantage in a way that would be uncontested by other players. To explain it a little better, take the Gauss hog on exile. One effective way Ive seen people make the gauss hog work is to park it in the corner of the map next to blue base and pick enemies off. While this method is effective and lessens the risk from infantry ambushes from the sides, the cardboard-like mechanics of its armor will eventually lead to its inevitable death due to team shooting or power weapons. I have seen this same tactic used by scorpions. The sad thing is, this is the only effective way to use the scorpion, as driving around the map is a death sentence to boarding action. The only problem is that the balance for this is either a hit or miss depending on the teams facing each other. If the enemy team has a power weapon, the tank is as good as dead. But then again, team shooting it with even the dmr could take awhile, and I have seen people get massive killing sprees on youtube with the tank.

*Props if you read the whole spoiler, that was just some stuff Ive observed with vehicle play.

Long story short, you mess with one mechanic, you have to adjust everything else.

You could blame it on poor map design, poor vehicle mechanics, or poor power weapon balance, but either way, presenting a new solution such as improving the vehicles, always seems to cause a new problem. And this chain reaction of problems in halo 4 cant be fixed without completely overhauling the game. This is something that 343i will never do, so the only way these problems are going to be legitamately fixed is if they are addressed in halo 5 before the game is released.

> I don’t get close. On Exile I would go so far as the bridge when the approach drive away. I don’t need to get kills with it. It is a suppression weapon and with it I force them to stay in cover for a few seconds so another squad mate gets them or I get them.
>
> And the gauss hog is one shot kill on Spartans so again I see no problem with those vehicles at all.
>
> But that is just my opinion and experience.

you have to realize, using it as a suppression tool, and using it as a killing tool are two totally different ball games

one supports your team
the other supports itself

in your case, it is much easier to avoid danger as you are only suppressing the enemy, not getting kills,
so you don’t need to face the enemy head-on, at close range
unlike the killing tool.

for the killing tool, you need to go in close, and to draw a lot of heat to yourself.

and the Gauss hog is arguably the ONLY vehicle worth getting into in Halo 4

So long has we had fun my K/D doesn’t matter. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to win, winning is fun it just not the end all be all. If I supported my team with that vehicle and we won but my K/D was negative because of it that is fine with me. But that is an entirely different discussion.

In other ways they can draw the enemy to you where the more powerful weapons tear them apart. Again it comes down to cohesion in the team.

I’m all for the Halo:CE Warthog.That thing was a beast.Its turret going off actually struck the fear of god into the other team.Ever since Halo 2 the Warthogs chaingun sounded like it shot .22 caliber bullets.Halo 4 the shots are a bit more audible but still cannot compare.Hopefully 343 looks back into the sounds of Halo:CE.Its not nostalgia, go play it and you will see what i mean.Everything sounded crisp and strong.I know this will never happen but with Halo 5 343 can start over fresh.With the 720 they practically don’t have any limits.

I will be very disappointed if the Warthog in Halo 5 doesn’t beat the one in CE in terms of sound and functionality.The only Vehicles that 343 nailed almost perfectly and gave me no complaints was the Wraith and Scorpion, they sound fantastic.I also love how they added drop to the Scorpion tank rounds, gives them a sense of weight which is a welcome addition to Halo.

solution to this whole problem…

remove plasma grenades from loadout weapons, nerf dmr finally to match other precision weapons dps

The simple fix for this problem with vehicle health is to increase the amount of plasma grenades it takes to kill vehicles. Right now, it can be argued that 2 plasma grenades destroys a vehicle too quick. A fair number would be 5 plasma grenades to destroy a vehicle. That way if one person is trying to take out the vehicles; they will need to die multiple times or find more grenades to get the job done. Or, you know, work with other teammates to get it done.

The Gauss Hog is exempt from this change. It is already difficult to take out a Gauss Hog because of how powerful it is.

Vehicles being destroyed by gunfire is fine. Four players focus firing a vehicle to destruction is not imbalanced. That is usually a 4 on 2 affair which frees up your team to kill more while their team is stalled. Plasma grenades are the problem.