The Small Things That Shape Halo

Most videogames need flashy gimmicks and overblown content to define their franchises, but Halo’s multiplayer shines in its simplicity. The smallest changes make the biggest differences in a series like Halo, so it’s a given that each sequel brings about much controversy with its subtle changes to gameplay mechanics. Here are a few that I disagree with, and would like removed or toned down for Halo 4:

Jump Height

This makes the rocket launcher twice as easy to use. Before, you could jump and barely survive a rocket explosion, but now, people can simply shoot without proper timing and still get an easy kill. It also changed tactics in game modes like SWAT, where people jump constantly to make headshots harder to get; with the normal jump height, you would jump too high for it to be an advantage. Furthermore, it makes map designs less dynamic, and turns jumps with drop-off more annoying; with less jump height, it’s harder to traverse platforms with pitfalls.

Strafe Acceleration

In stop 'n pop shooters like CoD, slower player movement is forced when looking down the iron sights, so unless someone is running a Steady Aim or Stalker loadout, all players play with the stop 'n pop gameplay. Halo on the other hand, embraces a semi-run 'n gun playstyle, allowing someone to run at full speed while shooting at their best accuracy (hip-fire is accurate, plus scoping doesn’t slow player movement). Moving at full speed encourages competitive players to improve their skills by strafing and constantly moving, so that the player is harder to hit. Strafing at the right time in past games could mean the difference between dying and killing.

But with strafe acceleration, the skill gap is thrown out the window. When players move, they first start slowly and quickly accelerate after a brief distance. This takes away from skilled players who have practiced their timing with strafing and defensive movement. Not only does it make it harder for the defender to evade bullets, but it also makes it easier for the attacker to utilize aim assist and bullet magnitism to “stay on target.”

Slower Backward Movement

This, in my opinion, is a bad mechanic. If this was removed, CQC weapons like the shotgun and Sword would be perfectly balanced, because both the attacker and defender would move at equal speeds, regardless of the players’ direction. Thus, a player who absent-mindedly ran out after someone could easily be killed by the defender keeping an equal distance between the two, no matter how far the attacker ran.

But Slower Backward Movement negates this equality between attacker and defender, allowing the aggressive to eventually rush into the red reticule for the Sword. On top of this change, the addition of Sprint compounds to make a very easy-to-use power weapon. Without these two mechanics, the Sword would take a lot more patience and skill to use effectively.

Vehicular Combat

This very crucial aspect to Halo has changed in multiple ways. Vehicles are frail, and can easily be destroyed by the game’s most basic weapon (utility weapon). Vehicles need to be more resistent to basic weaponry, like SMG’s, utility weapons, magnums, etc. Proper vehicle balancing isn’t making them weak and puny, but giving players plenty of weaponry and counters on the battlefield equal to the power/amount of vehicles.

The one positive change made to vehicular combat was the ability to destroy vehicles while in operation. I don’t like vehicles being technically indestructible while driven.

Those are the only small changes I can think about. Did I miss anything? Likes, dislikes?

EDIT: I’ve taken out the focus on Reach, and changed it to an overall distaste to the following features.

Was expecting another “hurr durr bloom sucks” thread… am pleasantly surprised. Agreed, Halo 4 is about the Chief, it should go back to what we’ve come to know as his movement.

I agree, Reach made too many changes as far as i am concerned, im sorry but as a friend of mine once stated before posting a picture of his snapped Reach disc on facebook:

“Reach is just a mediocre multiplayer with the Halo name slapped on the box”

Im currently keeping the faith in 343i to bring back Halo and not make a ‘CoD in Space’ Reach.

I completely agree with you, and these things need to be brought back. I think these changes were implemented because of sprint, and Bungie didn’t realise what it did to the skill gap. Good post, and hopefully no sprint in H4

I hate how I move so slowly and jump so short in Reach. Sprint and jetpack may have given us fast running and insane height, but Bungie unbalanced our base traits as well.

DEFAULT speed is slow… Reach plays so well in faster movement speeds.

You’re talking like these are all new changes…

Halo CE’s jump height was actually much lower than Halo 2 and 3’s as well. And to be honest, it makes more sense to me. The floaty jumps just made the game’s movement feel sloppy. MAYBE Halo 3’s jump height, but not Halo 2’s. Halo 2’s was all kinds of messed up.

Halo CE, 3, and Reach all have strafe acceleration. Halo 2 being the only game in the series that didn’t, and to be honest, it makes more sense and reserves strafing for those who practice it and get it right. Not just random people smaking the thumbstick back and forth.

Halo 2, 3 and Reach each had slower movement backward than forward. (Though especially in Reach with Sprint). So again, not a feature new to Halo Reach, but to be honest, it should stay like it was in Halo 2 or 3, it adds a dimension that punishes players who get too close. But no more of that Sprint crap.

> This was a really bad addition to Halo gameplay. Before this was implemented, CQC weapons like the shotgun and Sword were balanced, because both the attacker and defender would move at equal speeds, regardless of the players’ direction. Thus, a player who absent-mindedly ran out after someone could easily be killed by the defender keeping an equal distance between the two, no matter how far the attacker ran.
>
> But in Halo Reach, Slower Backward Movement negates this equality between attacker and defender, allowing the aggressive to eventually rush into the red reticule for the Sword. On top of this change, the addition of Sprint compounds to make a very easy-to-use power weapon. Without these two additions, the Sword takes a lot more patience and skill to use effectively.

Backward speed has always been slower than forward speed. In every game in the series (with the exception of Halo: CE) I have used close quarter weapons like the sword and shotgun (even the AR in Halo 3 for the shoot + melee kill) I have rushed at people who have tried to back pedal away from me, it was a pretty rare occurrence that I didn’t kill them.

Other than that, yes, I 100% agree with everything else you’ve said in this thread.

nice post

I’d like something about Broken Vehicular combat, because that’s what i miss in Halo 3 (along with the cool vehicles)

Out of all of the super ANTI REACH, threads, which make you feel like Reach was made by the devil him self. This thread isn’t as anti reach, and overly one sided.
Yes the slower movement and shorter jump does bug me, and I would hate to see Halo 4 have the same feel to it, I want to see Halo 4 have a little faster movement than Halo 3.

And the space diaper, don’t forget that too. lol.

My main issues with Reach would be the anti-vehicle Sniper and vehicular health. I prefer the H2/H3 method for vehicle health, as long as you’re alive the vehicle won’t explode but a greater damaged vehicle won’t protect you as well. Simple.

Halo has always been about keeping it simple, everything melds into each other be it combat on foot, to combat in a vehicle, to meleeing, to throwing grenades etc. Reach and even H3 to a certain extent… I think that flow was broken by the compulsion to chuck new stuff into the game to make it fresh.

I really hope 343i take their first step into the Halo franchise by taking it easy and getting to grips with core Halo values rather than just throwing in some horrid gameplay breaking gimmicks or just changing stuff for the hell of it.

I have to disagree with you on jump height. It’s more akin to Halo CE’s jump height. In the example you provided, the real culprit is the increased damage/radius of the rocket launcher.

Excellent post, OP.

Let’s not forget the increase in aim assistance and bigger hitboxes. Sniper is easier to use as well as just about every other weapon. And movement speed…You simply move SLOW in Reach.

I have a feeling I could list all the differences between Reach and the main trilogy, because it changed so many little things that made it worse.

The title should be “The small things that made Halo bad”.

Agree with the OP, and I hope that Halo 4 had nothing of those, including bloom and aim acceleration.

> DEFAULT speed is slow… Reach plays so well in faster movement speeds.

Reach plays like a dream when you play MLG.

You’ve highlighted some very interesting points here, i agree with most of em.
Well said.

PeacE
ShadEO9

Thanks for the correction guys. Didn’t realize these things have been in Halo before. I’ve edited the OP to reflect my intentions better.

Agree with vehicular combat, the new Hogs feel like they have the weight and structural stability of paper mache, I want to see a hog not quite as indestructable as the Halo 1 hog but pretty close.

> I agree, Reach made too many changes as far as i am concerned, im sorry but as a friend of mine once stated before posting a picture of his snapped Reach disc on facebook:
>
> <mark>“Reach is just a mediocre multiplayer with the Halo name slapped on the box”</mark>
>
> Im currently keeping the faith in 343i to bring back Halo and not make a ‘CoD in Space’ Reach.

Not to mention a horrendous Campaign.