The Sidekick is FAR WORSE for casual players than a Magnum would be

There seems to be a ton of confusion on this issue, but every single moment, I’m struck by the reality that a Magnum would help balance all three playlists in their current forms.

A lot of casual players seem pleased that the primary pistol is not a general-purpose utility weapon. The line has been that it is “successfully and intentionally a sidearm-style pistol,” but nobody seems to be acknowledging its capacity for abuse. It requires many shots to kill, has an extremely short range, and has massive bloom. This disqualifies it from versatile play. Yes, it can be used to quickdraw and pop off kills in combination with another weapon. Yes, that is part of its design. But it can ALSO be used by high-skill players to melt noobs at close range. And that is already becoming a huge part of the meta in social 4v4. It does not offer ANYTHING to lower-skill casual players. It is weak for general gunplay in mixed ranges and super, super strong when abused in its extremely short optimal range.

It’s also bad because social and ranked are completely walled gardens. There is not an obvious bridge for new players to transition from AR-dominated play to precision-dominated play. If there was an easier to use pistol with fewer shots to kill and a longer range, it would go a long way towards empowering all players.

This valley between auto and precision is perhaps felt most profoundly in BTB, where AR starts feel completely inadequate. Off spawn, you don’t really have a lot of options to engage in what I would call the “average” range of BTB engagements, especially on Fragmentation. I don’t necessarily think that BR starts would solve this problem, because then cross-map BR spam would be really frustrating and squash the dynamism of the playlist. It seems so, so obvious that an off-spawn range-bridge pistol would be the perfect solution. The sidekick is a sick joke in BTB.

Thanks for reading my weekly magnum beg post.

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I partially understand this, but then again I also think - did you play Halo 2 and experience how that magnum was used? Sidekick is extremely similar, and in H2 it was worse because the SMG was total garbage. At least you can get kills with the Infinite AR.

To me, the gap lies in the small amounts of playlists currently. It isn’t noob friendly because there are literally just three options. I agree that a medium-short range precision gun would be a good addition, but I don’t think lambasting the sidekick in favor of a legacy magnum is the answer.

I think they can certainly make changes to the Sidekick to make it achieve its stated purpose much better. If we’re going to keep it in as a weak sidearm, that’s fine, but it shouldn’t also be an easily exploitable noob-stomper. Keep its quick-draw. Keep its relative damage. But they have to nerf its fire-rate, lest it remain the fastest kill in the whole game. It can’t be BOTH a weak, generally ineffective gun, and ALSO a weird quick kill in a super specific circumstance.

There’s just a lack of honesty about its current utility. They took out the Magnum to please casual fans, but it’s the definition of a devil’s bargain. The Magnum was not an exploitable noob-stomper. It was just a well-rounded gun with a normal skill curve. The Sidekick puts a chasm between casual players and its higher skill exploitation.

Just wanting to clarify, is your argument really “skilled players can do more damage with it than unskilled players”? Skill gap has always been a thing. If you think this is bad you obviously slept through how BR starts destroyed weapon balance since it was introduced in Halo2.

No. My argument is that they removed a well-loved competitive weapon (the Magnum) to please casual fans who didn’t want the AR to be outclassed. In doing so, they replaced it with a weapon that offers no general utility (especially to casual fans) and instead just facilitates noob-stomping by people who feel like exploiting it.

That’s NOT to say that the competitive community benefits from a generally-bad pistol with extremely heavy bloom. Despite the fact that it is narrowly exploitable, it does not provide the level of utility that seasoned players tend to want out of a starting precision weapon.

It’d be like if the AR took 2 full clips to kill someone but if you turned around and shot it backwards it killed with a single bullet. No general utility, deeply inaccessible, endlessly exploitable. Bad for the health of the game. I want well-balanced weapons with a natural skill curve that reward mastery. The types of guns that enrich the sandbox at any level of play.

We’ll get the magnum eventually, but it will probably be considered a power weapon.

I just really feel like a 5-shot Magnum with no bloom would be a better starting weapon in things like Big Team, as long as it has a shorter optimal range than the BR. I think it’s more than likely that the competitive community would prefer Magnum starts to BR starts at that point as well.

It feels very viscerally like a big, obvious hole in the current sandbox.

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It’s also worth mentioning that spamming 7-shots as fast as possible is fundamentally easier on a mouse than a standard analog trigger. For the first time in the series, we have to consider how those types of balancing differences affect the game. The Sidekick is plainly more useful to mouse users than controller users, and I don’t think any other gun in the sandbox highlights that disparity more profoundly.

Honestly I’m not a fan of how the Sidekick absolutely melts people at close range. I consider myself to be at least decent with the Sidekick and I basically use it as my primary weapon over the AR now that I’ve become used to handling it and can land rapid headshots fairly consistently, but I still don’t like it.

One of my favourite parts of Halo has always been the massive variety of weapons in the sandbox and spawning with a pocket deletion device that can happily beat most close range pickup weapons in a straight shootout really doesn’t feel right to me. I’m fine with the Sidekick being a combo weapon that can be whipped out for a speedy headshot but at the moment it feels far too potent - what’s the point of designing a ‘finisher’ weapon to be combo’d with others and then making that finisher weapon an exceptionally efficient killer all on its lonesome?

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Yeah. This is exactly the problem, and I’m glad I’m not the only one troubled by it.

Didn’t think about this, but this is a fantastic point. For the health of the game, they need more playlists and a crossplay toggle.

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