> There is an immensely interesting blog post by Hardy LeBel, who worked on the design and balance of Halo:CE’s weapon sandbox, that I would suggest everyone who is interested in this topic read.
> Here it is: http://www.hardylebel.com/2014/10/universal-truth-game-design-3-part-3/
> As for the discussion, yes over the years the sandbox has sort of gotten stuffed with equivalent weapons. But going back a simpler (and I agree, better) time would require a lot of work. You would have redesign how weapon pickups work on campaign maps (as already mentioned above, this would mean the return of the “convenient weapons in the middle of nowhere” system used in CE). Weapon design and balance for weapons that will stay will have to tweaked. Lastly, of course, you would have to deal with those members of the community who will inevitably be upset because their favorite got removed. I would love to see the number of precision weapons be cut down, but even so part of me would be super sad to see the Carbine go away (unless it gets replaced by a modified Needle rifle and which case all is forgiven).
That’s the second time I’ve seen someone saw that a more diverse sandbox would require “convenient” weapon drops, but I don’t see why that would need to be the case. For one you can contrive any number of narrative reasons for certain resupplies, and its not like ammo has stopped being an issue in later games due to the lowered capacities since CE and especially Halo 4/5. Moreover I don’t think it is necessarily a good thing to always give people access to their go to weapons(or an almost exact equivalent). Forcing them out of their comfort zone from time to time is a good thing in my book. While Halo had its own problems with redundancy, Levels like the Oracle and Gravemind are good for getting players out of their comfort zone and would only have gotten better if they had to change up more of their tactics as well.
As far as “favorites” go, it seems like par for the course that at the end of the day some people are going to lose their favorites as things change or get replaced by new ideas. I miss the CE plasma rifle, I miss the pro pipe, it happens. However my goal here isn’t necessarily to just reduce the size of the sandbox or even radically alter a lot of the weapons, its to reduce redundancy in general. Of the 5 precision weapons in Halo 4/5, I would probably only totally remove one them(either the BR or DMR). Otherwise I would like to see something like you just mentioned: A retooled Needle Rifle in place of a carbine, maybe give it something similar to the SPV3 DMR where it has a very long range scope, really lean into the “long range” niche. Covenant still gets a headshot capable scoped weapon, but it wouldn’t step on the toes of whatever became the UNSC utility precision weapon.
> As for the sniper rifle and beam rifle, if the covenant didn’t have the beam rifle then they wouldn’t have a distinct weapon filling the role. Would it make sense for the covenant to use human snipers? BLASPHEMY I SAY! And the Focus rifle although effective in its own right, it dosn’t work well as a sniper weapon at all. Thus the Covenant empire would be completely at a disadvantage in ranged assassination, or combat.
> Also, I think it’s fine to have a game with every weapon ever available, not competitively of course… but for the sake of campaign, forge, and custom games.
Again, 1:1 equivalency is not the point. The Covenant still have a very long range capable precision weapon, its just not a purple sniper rifle. Do you expect the Human Magnum to be able to EMP vehicles because the Covenant “Pistol” can? The shotgun wins most fights with an energy sword, does the energy sword need to be replaced with Covenant shotgun because they will be at a complete disadvantage? See how silly this gets if we go down that path?
Covenant tactics have always been fundamentally different from UNSC and judging them by the same standards is silly as is treating game mechanics as representative of the “lore” where even single bolts of plasma can be lethal and a split second of Focus rifle fire on a Marine’s head would probably melt his face off.