The "that isn't Halo" conversation

With so many different Halo games, and different players now, there is a friendly debate on “what Halo is”–and what Halo 4 should be. I’ve noticed there are 3 basic arguments in the “is it Halo?” conversation.

Which argument do you find yourself making most often? And which argument(s) do you think will prevail for Halo 4? Can all three arguments be addressed through playlist support? Or does one necessarily cancel out the others?

These are all legitimate arguments. It’s simply personal preference, and sharing those preferences can be interesting–since we do it everyday in our responses to each other, but maybe don’t realize the specific point-of-view we’re coming from.

Argument 1: Keep features that have already been given. That’s Halo now.

This player likes every release better than the last, because new ideas are what gaming is all about. Maybe it’s a Halo 3 player with a high tolerance for change, or a new player who sees Reach as Halo.

Reach’s changes to core gameplay: low jump height, defensive loadouts, and gun accuracy, are not a big deal to ths fan. He likes that Halo is “moving forward” as a franchise, and likes the creative new powers that allow him to be a stronger player.

This player trusts the developer’s vision for Halo, and isn’t open to arguments that Halo is too different.

Argument 2: Go backward on gameplay; go forward on game management.

This player believes Halo 2 and 3’s core gameplay of “guns, grenades and melee” is the gold standard. Without this formula in action, Halo becomes a different game.

Conservative on “core gameplay,” this player happens to be progressive on “game management.” This player sees some Halo game attitudes as too old-school. Being able to shoot/betray your teammate should go. Adding replacement teammates when one quits out during games should be added.

In Reach, Bro Slayer (spawning on teammates) helped to speed up battles. Invasion’s staged map idea, a la Bad Company 2, was new for the franchise as well. In certain situations, the ideas seemed successful to this kind of player.

This player sees Halo as special, but not sacred. If classic core gamplay stays untouched, new ideas that reduce the hassle of matchmaking, and help players to enjoy the game more, should be added to Halo 4.

Argument 3: Return to the golden era. No substitutions, please.

This usually dedicated player does not want Halo to change from the amazing game it was in 2005 (or 2007). For this player, Halo 4 would be perfect if it were a successor to Halo 2, the advancements being cutting-edge graphics, a few new weapons, new multiplayer maps, enemies and story.

This player has seen Halo change too much over the last six years, and is adamantly against more changes, whether they’ve worked for other games or not. They see dropping-in a replacement player mid-game as breaking Halo’s closed competitive system, even if they’re left on a short-handed team, and they believe friendly fire makes Halo tactical. They live with the issues that come along with this old-school approach, by partying up with trusted friends, or they endure them to become a tougher player.

To this person, Halo is only hurt by new ideas, and the formula for a great Halo game exists but was left behind in search of the new.

Argument 2 combined with argument 3.

So you are pretty much categorizing 3 different types of Halo fans?

> With so many different Halo games, and different players now, there is a friendly debate on “what Halo is”–and what Halo 4 should be. I’ve noticed there are 3 basic arguments in the “is it Halo?” conversation.
>
> Which argument do you find yourself making most often? And which argument(s) do you think will prevail for Halo 4? Can all three arguments be addressed through playlist support? Or does one necessarily cancel out the others?
>
> These are all legitimate arguments. It’s simply personal preference, and sharing those preferences can be interesting–since we do it everyday in our responses to each other, but maybe don’t realize the specific point-of-view we’re coming from.
>
>
> Argument 1: Keep features that have already been given. That’s Halo now.
>
> This player likes every release better than the last, because new ideas are what gaming is all about. Maybe it’s a Halo 3 player with a high tolerance for change, or a new player who sees Reach as Halo.
>
> Reach’s changes to core gameplay: low jump height, defensive loadouts, and gun accuracy, are not a big deal to ths fan. He likes that Halo is “moving forward” as a franchise, and likes the creative new powers that allow him to be a stronger player.
>
> This player trusts the developer’s vision for Halo, and isn’t open to arguments that Halo is too different.
>
>
>
> Argument 2: Go backward on gameplay; go forward on game management.
>
> This player believes Halo 2 and 3’s core gameplay of “guns, grenades and melee” is the gold standard. Without this formula in action, Halo becomes a different game.
>
> Conservative on “core gameplay,” this player happens to be progressive on “game management.” This player sees some Halo game attitudes as too old-school. Being able to shoot/betray your teammate should go. Adding replacement teammates when one quits out during games should be added.
>
> In Reach, Bro Slayer (spawning on teammates) helped to speed up battles. Invasion’s staged map idea, a la Bad Company 2, was new for the franchise as well. In certain situations, the ideas seemed successful to this kind of player.
>
> This player sees Halo as special, but not sacred. If classic core gamplay stays untouched, new ideas that reduce the hassle of matchmaking, and help players to enjoy the game more, should be added to Halo 4.
>
>
>
> Argument 3: Return to the golden era. No substitutions, please.
>
> This usually dedicated player does not want Halo to change from the amazing game it was in 2005 (or 2007). For this player, Halo 4 would be perfect if it were a successor to Halo 2, the advancements being cutting-edge graphics, a few new weapons, new multiplayer maps, enemies and story.
>
> This player has seen Halo change too much over the last six years, and is adamantly against more changes, whether they’ve worked for other games or not. They see dropping-in a replacement player mid-game as breaking Halo’s closed competitive system, even if they’re left on a short-handed team, and they believe friendly fire makes Halo tactical. They live with the issues that come along with this old-school approach, by partying up with trusted friends, or they endure them to become a tougher player.
>
> To this person, Halo is only hurt by new ideas, and the formula for a great Halo game exists but was left behind in search of the new.

If i dare say i speak for most if not all halo fans can be summed up as such.

By all means create innovate and add whatever. But at the same time give us a choice to play halo in the traditional sense. For reach for EX let us enjoy AAs but give us from the launch of the game a classic halo experience, fst movement, no aas, no bloom, bleedthrough, no aim or movement acceleration, ranking.

Basically dont aleinate anyone, keep it fresh but let us go back to what we fell in love with in the first place.

I’m a combination of 2 and 3, slightly leaning more towards 3. I definitely want many of the old aspects of Halo to come back. I have hope.

I like change, but bungie changed the Core Halo formula which was Fast paced, Skill based and simple gameplay.

Reach was slow paced, non-skill based and had complex gameplay ( AA’s, Bloom, Random outcomes etc. )

So basically Halo: Reach is basically The opposite of Halo, or olaH Lol. olaH: Reach.

Argument 3, although I’m not completely closed to changing the game up just a little bit. I would like to see new features and have the gameplay changed up a bit, just like how dual wielding and vehicle boarding enhance and sped up gameplay and how forge, theater, and firefight were new features. As long as it doesn’t mess with the golden triangle of gun, grenades, and melee or add a new variable to the triangle, and if it actually feels like the kind of Arena style Halo game that I love, then I’m fine.

> Argument 2 combined with argument 3.

This. I like new ideas, but changes to working core mechanics are a big no no (Bloom, Melee’s, Grenades, Aim Acceleration, Strafe Speed, Jump Height, AA’s.), especially if you can’t change them yourself in customs.

Great observations OP. Good job.

I am none of these.

AND I’m insulted that you would called the H2/H3 era the “golden age”.

There is also this fourth argument: Go back to the roots and this time do actual improvements to the right direction.

This player wants the game to be as competitive and require as much skill as possible. The player thinks that the quality of Halo games has been decreasing over years and Halo CE and two were the best, but even those have room for improvement. The general idea of this argument is that gameplay elements should be taken from these two games and improved from there to require more skill and have deeper gameplay.

The goal for this player is that they want Halo to be as balanced and competitive as possible. These players usually tend to know that this kind of gameplay would, in reality, guarantee a much better gameplay experience for everyone if done right. This sort of gameplay lasts in the long run and will be remembered after years like the gameplay of games such as Quake, Halo CE and 2, Counter Strike and other competitive FPS games is remembered these days.

This is definitely the group of players I belong into. Halo can always evolve as lnog as the direction is right. I also support content improvement such as better Forge, custom games options, and Firefight. As long as it doesn’t hinder quality of the gameplay.

> I am none of these.
>
> AND I’m insulted that you would called the H2/H3 era the “golden age”.

I am speaking primarily of matchmaking, and Halo CE did not have Xbox Live matchmaking support. Also, I am talking about different player attitudes. Some players see Halo 2 as the golden age. You may not.

A 3 and a little of 2. I want it to innovate, but I want the core gameplay to remain relatively the same.

Argument 2 + 3 combined, slightly leaning towards 2. I loved the multiplayer in 2 and 3 but I don’t like Reach’s at all.

Definitely 3, although a little bit of 2 as well. What I wanted out of Halo Reach was a fun campaign, and Halo 3 with:

Improved graphics, which we got
Improved online play (shots registering etc), which we got
Improved forge, which we got
Couple of new guns, which we got (Grenade launcher is cool, as is plasma launcher)
Maybe some new equipment? Although I’d of struggled to come up with any good ideas that wouldn’t unbalance the game.
Good maps, which are definitely limited in number

What I didn’t want to see:
Making it more noob-friendly, in my opinion halo 3 was the perfect balance for casual and competitive play
Drastic changes (melee system, bloom, AAs, DMR etc)

In my opinion friendly fire is one of the best things about halo, its stupid on some games how you can flashbang/grenade a room your teammates are in.

I would definitely fall into category 3, although I would not mind allowing people to join into social games.

To me, Reach is not what halo was meant to be and now that I see that the game will be little more then what ODST was to Halo 3, I personally will not be buying it. I didn’t like reach, and I don’t play it, in fact I sold it, which is sad considering I still play Halo 2 and Halo 3 on a regular basis.

I was so disappointed when they announced that CE would still use Reach as the multiplayer engine. Not because I’m poor and can’t afford to buy back Reach, but just for the fact that, why is microsoft and 343 trying to revive a dead game? Reach did not draw anywhere near the numbers that Halo 3 or Halo 2 drew.

Personally I would have paid $100 just to get a new halo game that doesn’t suck. I miss my 1-50, I miss weapons that fired where they were aimed. I miss having a Halo that actually made sense and a weapon sandbox that wasn’t so balanced and nerfed that it made every weapon equally useless.

> I am none of these.
>
> AND I’m insulted that you would called the H2/H3 era the “golden age”.

It’s not like Halo was the -Yoink- back then. Of curse, Halo wasn’t the juggernaut of the gaming industry back then. Those 1 million players online daily? That was nothing, right?

> > I am none of these.
> >
> > AND I’m insulted that you would called the H2/H3 era the “golden age”.
>
> It’s not like Halo was the -Yoink- back then. Of curse, Halo wasn’t the juggernaut of the gaming industry back then. Those 1 million players online daily? That was nothing, right?

We’re obviously using different metrics.

I’m an argument 3 kind of guy except I am definately open to some changes. Reach brought to many big changes that really messed up gameplay. Almost unrecognizable as Halo matchmaking.

Halo 3 brought changes but they didn’t interfere with the core Halo gameplay. As where Reach scrambled the core Halo gameplay.

> I am none of these.
>
> AND I’m insulted that you would called the H2/H3 era the “golden age”.

It was the “Golden Age”. If you think Reach is anywhere near that status, then you obviously haven’t experienced the “Golden Age”.