In its current form, the Storm Rifle (SR) is little more than a Covenant ‘reskin’ of the Assault Rifle. It does have its differences, but none that truly distinguish and justify its inclusion. I don’t think that placing it on-map and giving it a damage buff would be the best way to give the SR purpose, however. I’d much rather keep the SR as a Loadout Primary option, all the while giving it a ‘stun’ effect/headshot bonus (like the CE Plasma Rifle) and adjusting the rate-of-fire, damage-per-shot. and accuracy to balance it.
Speaking of the Plasma Rifle (PR), I’d like to see it make a return in the form of an automatic Loadout Secondary option. Functioning like it did in Halo 2/3 (but balanced to be useful without the inclusion of dual-wielding), and with the SMG added as well.
In general, I’d like to see Personal Loadouts return in a more limited way:
Primary- Assault Rifle- Battle Rifle- Storm Rifle- Covenant CarbineSecondary- Magnum- SMG- Needle Pistol- Plasma RifleNo Equipment/AAs/Perks at-spawn.
However, It may be somewhat difficult to balance the Magnum and Needle Pistol or the SMG and Plasma Rifle (respectively) without them being too similar to both be relevant. If that obstacle proves to be too challenging, I’d suffice for the Loadout Secondaries to consist of only the Magnum and either the SMG or Plasma Rifle (not both). That way, we could still have either a precision or automatic sidearm without problematically cluttering the weapon sandbox with “reskins”. Again, that’s if 343i couldn’t differentiate each secondary from its ‘counterpart’ in a balanced way (which I do think is possible).