I never had the opportunity to play Halo 2 online, but it was Halo 3 that got me into online gaming. There are fundamental differences between Halos 2 and 3 but, from my understanding, 3 is closer to 2 than it is to Reach/4. I’d like to discuss these differences, and possibly come up with ideas that could rekindle the solid gameplay of 3 (and earlier)for Halo 5, without completely abandoning all of the new additions to the franchise. Since this is primarily opinion, feel free to throw in your two cents.
Equal Starts: If you’ve spent more than 15 minutes on the Halo 4 forum, you’ll know what I’m talking about here: Classes. Halo 5 needs to move away from classes altogether, and implement the use of equal starts. AR Starts, BR Starts, DMR Starts, Carbine Starts…These are truer to Halo than classes ever will be. If I’m on Haven with an AR and some guy picks me off with a DMR, I’d be much happier if I knew he at least had to find that gun rather than start with it.
Additionally, if someone is garbage with a BR but a God with the DMR, why would they ever try to go toe-to-toe with someone with a BR? Back in Halo 3, the only reason I got halfway decent with the BR was because of BR starts. Sometimes, giving the player too much choice will cause the player to take the path of least resistance. “Why should I ever get better with a different gun, if I’m already good with this one?”
Armor Abilities: The elephant in the room, right? I’ve never been a huge fan of Armor Abilities. I’ve always been under the assumption that super soldiers don’t need a handy little gadget to make them better. They’re super soldiers for crying out-loud, they kick -Yoink- with whatever they find on the battlefield! Thus, starting with Armor Abilities has got to go. Let’s face it, AAs are here to stay. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be implemented in a way that makes sense for the Halo formula!
As it has been said numerous times, AAs need to become pickups from the map. Like power weapons, you need to go find them and you don’t get to keep them if you die. There’s so much more room for tactical play when a team has the regeneration field and the jetpacks. There’s nothing tactical about, “I have active camo…and so do you, apparently!”
I do think that Sprint should stay, but there needs to be a caveat. Everyone has it but, if you elect to pick up an AA, you lose the ability to sprint. That means you have to make a choice: Do I want to be able to get in and out of combat quickly, or do I want to be able to regenerate my teams shields in a pinch? That’s the difference between a lonewolf playstyle, and a support player!
Ordinance Drops: Hahaha, no! The most common thing I yell when playing Halo 4 is, “Oh, you have a power weapon? Cute…expletive!” This horse has been beaten so many times by pros and casuals alike, but I want to reiterate it just one more time. STOP WITH RANDOM AND PERSONAL DROPS! If someone beat me to the rocket launcher, be it a teammate or an opponent, than they beat me to it. I feel dirty just happening across it randomly or calling one in.
On the Pit in Halo 3, there was a strategy involving the power weapons: Hold down the sword room, snipe like hell, or haul -Yoink- for the rockets. There were definite hot spots on a map. If I needed my shield to regenerate, I knew where NOT to go. In Halo 4…one spot on a map might be clear for one match, but it could be a Hellhole for another match. I like my map flow like I like my digestive tract: consistent.
And finally Ranking: It was something special for me when I managed to become a Major in Halo 3. Through the tears of agony (and joy) of playing ranked, I accomplished something. Ranking up shouldn’t be something achieved just by existing in a match, it should be something that you have to actually try to achieve.
A return to the Halo 3 model of ranking up would be amazing! Without ranking up your skill level, you’re pretty much stuck with “enlisted ranks”. If you want to become an officer, you gotta play some ranked matches. This gives players something to strive for, something to accomplish. Something to keep playing for!
Rather than unlocking weapons, we can unlock armor and weapon skins through ranking up (weapon skins can be predetermined by the player in the same screen where they -Yoink!- out their spartan armor). I’d feel so much more awesome if I knew I earned desert camo for my weapons rather than some “Thanks for playing enough, here ya go!” reward system.
This is honestly all I have for right now. It’s super late and I had over six hours of 400 level classes today. I’m beat. Feel free to add to, or disagree with, my ramblings.