The Mantis...

While I’m not one to rant, I just have to let this one out.

Ever since it was announced as a part of the Halo 3 remake of Valhalla, Ragnarok, the HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX Armor Defense System, or Mantis, is a vehicle that seems to cause much more harm to gameplay than it does good. Over Halo 4’s existence, the Mantis has found its way into quite a bit of maps, and it certainly has caused quite a bit of changes, some of them are negative.

ITT, I’ll highlight the negative AND positive aspects of the Mantis’s effects on map flow for each map that it exists on. I’ll start with it’s birthplace, Ragnarok…

The Mantis and The Remake

First introduced as a spiritual successor to Blood Gulch in Halo 3, Valhalla, remade as Ragnarok, was loved for it’s strategic flank points, smooth map control, and semi-symetrical combat that made it brilliant for objective based games. However, in Halo 4, Ragnarok had a small, yet noticeable difference from its Halo 3 predecessor. And that, my fellow Spartans, is the Mantis.

The Mantis, as fun as it is, shatters a great deal of Valhalla’s features that made it so great. The once strategic flank points, such as the caves, and the river, are blocked off by the Mantis slaughtering anyone who crosses the central ridge. These caves are turned into blood baths by the Mantis forcing everyone to use them as a means of escaping its wrath. Too many people are packed into a single place, and the purpose of that particular element of the map is drastically changed because of the Mantis forcing everyone inside.

To make matters worse, objective based games such as CTF are turned into stalemates due to how the Mantis either X, destroys any attempts to go past that central ridge, or Y, turns the flank-points into blood baths by forcing everyone inside of them.

Finally, above all issues, the Mantis contributes nothing to map-control. The moment the beast crosses that central ridge, it is obliterated by the heavy firepower of the opposing team. Essentially, it adds nothing to map flow, and it destroys it.

The next order of business is the promising, yet hated, map known as Meltdown.

Built on the hegemony that was introduced in CE through maps such as Infinity and Danger Canyon, Meltdown is the heir of CE’s BTB throne. The map’s structure is almost brilliant. A 2-leveled figure 8 shape with caves and teleporters that allow strategic flankpoints, and an array of mancannons that send players to strategic sections of the map make it a brilliant spiritual successor to both Infinity and Danger Canyon. However, each and every positive element of Meltdown is cheated by a single usurper: The Mantis.

Meltdown’s upper level and central bridge are rendered into a Mantis vs Mantis battle that result in the other areas of the map, especially the ones that offer immense strategy, are ignored. Any person who crosses that infamous bridge of death is stomped to hell by an army of Spartans led by a Mantis, and the entire match revolves around just that. Rather than elements such as map control and flow resulting in victory, the winning team is decided by whoever’s Mantis is destroyed in the last minute of the game.

Even more disturbing, Meltdown’s strategic caves and teleporters are over crowded by people who seek to escape from the Mantis. Just like in Ragnarok, these what would be strategic areas are turned into blood baths.

And finally, above all else, the Mantis is unable to cross that central bridge without being destroyed. Again, it adds nothing to map control, and it negates map flow to the extreme.

However, the Mantis does do some good to certain maps.

The wreckage of the UNSC Diadochi, home of the Halo 4 map known as Exile, was once widely criticized for having unbalance between vehicle spawns. Before the Weapon Tuning, Exile offered one team a Gauss Hog, and the other a Banshee. To exaggerate the issue, the Scorpion Tank seemed to favor one team over the other, causing serious unbalance.

However, in the Weapon Tuning update, that all changed. The Scorpion Tank was removed, and the Mantis was introduced in it’s place, and spawned equally apart from both teams. Unlike ever before, the Mantis contributes to map control, and saved a map from imbalance.

Taking the issues of the Mantis, and its advantages, it’s possible to save it from extinction. If in Ragnarok, we remove the Mantises from both teams, and place one in the center of the map near near the massive Forerunner wall, the Mantis will contribute to map control and revive Valhalla’s gameplay. Meltdown, while some of its flaws go beyond the Mantis, can be restored by placing one Mantis in the lower level of the Canyon in the center of the map. The Mantis will not only contribute to map control, but the one who enters it won’t be in a direct line of fire.

The Mantis may be flawed, but it can be improved. Let’s not forget that.

Wonder how Ragnarok woukd fair if gauss hogs or wraiths replaced the Mantis’

I absolutely agree that the Mantis is too overpowered. The problem is that it is agile, powerful, and resilient–no vehicle should have all three of those.

I think:

(1) Either speed or damage must be reduced
(2) Shields must go (they can stay in Campaign)

> I absolutely agree. I think:
>
> (1) Either speed or damage must be reduced
> (2) Shields must go (they can stay in Campaign)

Decreasing the Mantis’s speed wouldn’t do it any justice. It’d just be a useless vehicle that would become an “area-of-denial” for players.

The MANTIS is an anti-aircraft vehicle on maps where there are no (or maybe one) aircraft. In campaign and SpOps it works just fine against multitudes of Banshees and dropships. against infantry and ground vehicles it’s OP. For that matter, since it can track way faster than either the Scorpion or the Wraith and shoots tracking missiles, it’s kinda OP for aircraft, unless there’s a bunch of them, which we never get. It’s only real weaknesses are that it’s tall and it’s slow.

It’s one of those good ideas 343i had where they went overboard.

> Decreasing the Mantis’s speed wouldn’t do it any justice. It’d just be a useless vehicle that would become an “area-of-denial” for players.

Honestly, I would rather take it out than “fix it.” I can’t see a way that would make the Mantis balanced in that it’s both fun to use and fun to fight against.

> I absolutely agree that the Mantis is too overpowered. The problem is that it is agile, powerful, and resilient–no vehicle should have all three of those.
>
> I think:
>
> (1) Either speed or damage must be reduced
> (2) Shields must go (they can stay in Campaign)

I think the Mantis in its current form is the only vehicle that can fairly handle the Infinity Settings.

> The MANTIS is an anti-aircraft vehicle on maps where there are no (or maybe one) aircraft. In campaign and SpOps it works just fine against multitudes of Banshees and dropships. against infantry and ground vehicles it’s OP. For that matter, since it can track way faster than either the Scorpion or the Wraith and shoots tracking missiles, it’s kinda OP for aircraft, unless there’s a bunch of them, which we never get. It’s only real weaknesses are that it’s tall and it’s slow.
>
> <mark>It’s one of those good ideas 343i had where they went overboard</mark>.

Just needs work

> I think the Mantis in its current form is the only vehicle that can fairly handle the Infinity Settings.

The Mantis is the only vehicle that can handle PPs and PGs in loadouts. We all know that those two loadout options ruined vehicular combat in Halo 4, but if they were removed, how the heck could you take out a Mantis without another vehicle?

The only reason PPs and PGs are in loadouts is that they are required in order to give infantry a fighting chance against Mantises. That says something about how overpowered the vehicle is.

> > I think the Mantis in its current form is the only vehicle that can fairly handle the Infinity Settings.
>
> The Mantis is the only vehicle that can handle PPs and PGs in loadouts. We all know that those two loadout options ruined vehicular combat in Halo 4, but if they were removed, how the heck could you take out a Mantis without another vehicle?
>
> The only reason PPs and PGs are in loadouts is that they are required in order to give infantry a fighting chance against Mantises. That says something about how overpowered the vehicle is.

Don’t forget all the anti-vehicle weapons that are getting thrown into a game via static map spawns, POD and ROD. :wink:

However, of course I agree with you that under different settings it is extremely overpowered, there is no doubt.

But I mean, when you significantly nerf the Mantis but the settings remain the same than it would just become another easy target.

> > The MANTIS is an anti-aircraft vehicle on maps where there are no (or maybe one) aircraft. In campaign and SpOps it works just fine against multitudes of Banshees and dropships. against infantry and ground vehicles it’s OP. For that matter, since it can track way faster than either the Scorpion or the Wraith and shoots tracking missiles, it’s kinda OP for aircraft, unless there’s a bunch of them, which we never get. It’s only real weaknesses are that it’s tall and it’s slow.
> >
> > <mark>It’s one of those good ideas 343i had where they went overboard</mark>.
>
> Just needs work

Agreed. Not only to it’s capabilities, but also on what maps it appears on.

The Cyclops may have been more suitable since it, I believe, only had a machine gun, and it possibly could have been used to repair vehicles and (in Dominion) turrets, as it was used in Halo Wars.

I been hating Ragnarok since the TU and it’s not because of the Mantis. Too many darn campers. I never liked meltdown for the mantis, in it or fighting against it.

I don’t mind it on Ragnarok but it should be removed from Meltdown imo.

> I been hating Ragnarok since the TU and it’s not because of the Mantis. Too many darn campers. I never liked meltdown for the mantis, in it or fighting against it.
>
> I don’t mind it on Ragnarok but it should be removed from Meltdown imo.

I don’t think there’s TOO MANY campers. The Mantis is fine on Ragnarok but I wouldn’t mind trying two Wraiths instead.

That’s why the Spartan Laser exists, and I think that it’s not the Mantis that’s the problem, it’s that other weapons aren’t that useful against it.

Tonight I was invited to a decent team to play with. We got Ragnarok 3 times on CTF. 2 times we destroyed it before it managed to reach mid-ground, and the 3rd time we forced and held it behind their base while we sat on mid.

Teamwork’s pretty crucial, but that’s obvious. With Ragnarok, someone’s just gotta make the sacrifice and either 1, rush the Laser risking the death by Sniper/DMR fire, or 2, sack himself into the position of the Plasma Pistol’er.

I agree it’s dumb on Exile; pretty sure only one of them spawns on Blue side.

> That’s why the Spartan Laser exists, and I think that it’s not the Mantis that’s the problem, it’s that other weapons aren’t that useful against it.

The problem is, the Mantis does much more to Ragnarok than being simply overpowered. Also, the Spartan Laser is a wasted equipment against the Mantis if you can just as easily destroy it with a Plasma Pistol + Plasma Grenade combo.

> Tonight I was invited to a decent team to play with. We got Ragnarok 3 times on CTF. <mark>2 times we destroyed it before it managed to reach mid-ground,</mark> and the 3rd time we forced and held it behind their base while we sat on mid.

Which is another problem with it. The Mantis is unable to effectively cross the central ridge of the map without being destroyed. It contributes nothing to map control.

> Teamwork’s pretty crucial, but that’s obvious. With Ragnarok, someone’s just gotta make the sacrifice and either 1, rush the Laser risking the death by Sniper/DMR fire, or 2, sack himself into the position of the Plasma Pistol’er.

In Ragnarok, I shouldn’t be having to sacrifice so much to destroy the Mantis, I should be sacrificing my life to secure a safe escape for the flag carrier on my team. However, due to the Mantis making the use of any of the map’s strategic flank points, there’s very little I can do for him/her except for hoping that they can escape in time. As if it couldn’t be any worse, my team’s Mantis is UNABLE to escort the flag carrier because not only is it a very slow moving vehicle, but it is also rarely able to get to a strategic area of the map to defend the flag carrier without being destroyed and it is generally used as a kill-grinding tool that ultimately distracts both teams from the objective.

> I agree it’s dumb on Exile; pretty sure only one of them spawns on Blue side.[/color]

Did you even read the OP? That’s not what he said at all.

> Also, the Spartan Laser is a wasted equipment against the Mantis if you can just as easily destroy it with a Plasma Pistol + Plasma Grenade combo.

The Laser is more powerful with longer range and less risk.

The Mantis is weird. Sometimes it’s a walking a death trap and other times it’s a harbinger of death. It’s armor is on par with the warthog, with shields it’s just below the tanks. The chaingun is equal in power with the warthogs default turret, yet overheats faster. Rocket Launcher is on par with the warthogs rocket turret, yet with decreased splash damage. Sometimes it has soda can armor, and sometimes it has adamantium armor.

> > Also, the Spartan Laser is a wasted equipment against the Mantis if you can just as easily destroy it with a Plasma Pistol + Plasma Grenade combo.
>
> The Laser is more powerful with longer range and less risk.

The Laser often doesn’t kill a Mantis in the first hit, and many times the Mantis kills you before you can land another.

> The Laser often doesn’t kill a Mantis in the first hit, and many times the Mantis kills you before you can land another.

I don’t think two plasmas is a guaranteed kill either.