I would like to start this off by making one thing clear: I’m sprint neutral. I will be totally fine with Halo 4 whether or not sprint is default or not. That being said, I would much rather it be a pick-up (same with all AA’s) AT LEAST for competitive gametypes (if there are any, which I really hope there are).
The biggest argument I’ve seen is that sprint slows the game down (by letting players escape death). I feel like I need to point out that this is not true at all. You see, what some people on these forums don’t seem to realize is there is a big difference between fast kill times and fast gamemplay. Fast kill time would be like CoD. You shoot. They’re dead. You move on. Fast gameplay means you jump into the action fast and spend most your time fighting. Fast gameplay is what I think makes Halo good. In CoD you spend maybe 10% of the time actually fighting; the other 90% is running back out there. Just because you die fast doesn’t make the gameplay fast. In fact, since you spend so much time in CoD having to get back into the action just for two seconds of fighting I’d say it plays kind of slow overall.
Halo is a lot different though. You spend 10% of the time running around and 90% of the time fighting (ok so this varies for larger maps but that’s expected). Halo has always had longer kill times compared to other FPS’s and that makes it a lot more fun. You know why? Fights in CoD are boring. You see someone, you shoot them for a fraction of a second, and they die. In Halo you get these huge epic sprawling battles where sometimes it takes everything you have to kill the other person before they kill you. My favorite fights in halo are the ones where me and the other person are going at it back and forth tossing grenades, shooting and jumping around corners, and finally I manage to get that last hit on them after an epic battle. The fights in halo are fast paced even if the kills take a while. You’re jumping, running, taking cover, tossing grenades, pulling off quick headshots, and all the way having to think on your feet to come up with a way to gain the upper hand in the battle.
The argument that sprint slows the game down doesn’t really make sense. Sprint makes battles happen faster because you can run right to the fight. The argument that sprint lets players escape bad decisions doesn’t make sense anyways. 95% of the time players that are sprinting are doing so to get somewhere, not to run away. How often does a player turn around in the middle of a fight and try to escape? If it’s halfway through a fight, you’re probably going to shoot them dead anyways. I rarely encounter people escaping fights where they absolutely deserved to die. Most the time someone escapes me using sprint, they were using it tactically and ran at the right time and had the right path to escape.
The thing is, using sprint correctly actually takes skill. How many noobs do you see that can use sprint like a pro? I’m honestly not afraid of a noob using sprint. Noobs rarely ever escape me using sprint. It’s the GOOD players I’m afraid of using sprint. The ones who are tactical and actually know when to run and know when to stand their ground. Correct use of sprint requires that you actually think and plan out how you’re going to escape. Just running off in one direction with sprint rarely works. It’s not the bad players you have to worry about with sprint. It’s the smart ones. Sprint increases the skill gap because it lets good players escape bad players who got lucky and got the upper hand in a fight (whether through going nuts with grenades or having an ally with them or maybe they just spotted you first). Bad players RARELY EVER save themselves with sprint.
Honestly, most the time people escape me with sprint they deserved it. They either planned out a good route of escape and timed everything just right or I was shooting at someone halfway across the map who was out in the open thinking I could get a free kill when I didn’t really deserve it anyways.
Now that I’ve defended sprint, I want to play the other side a bit. Like I said earlier, I would prefer sprint (and all AA’s) be pickup (at the very least for competitive gametypes). Non-sprint just works better for competitive gameplay. If sprint IS going to be in all gametypes then I hope 343 is smart enough to make sure that sprint isn’t as huge a boost as in Reach. The movement speeds should be back up to normal in 4 and hopefully sprint won’t be made even faster. I’ve seen people saying that in reach sprint makes you run 150% speed (not sure if this is true, just going off what I’ve seen). If 4 brings speeds up from Reach’s speed to 120% or whatever then I think sprint should stay at 150% rather been raised accordingly. This way works much better. If sprint only makes you go a little faster then it will make a big difference for when you’re trying to run across maps but when someone’s just trying to run short distances (like running into the next room to avoid getting shot) they won’t get quite as far. This will also mean that running away with sprint takes even more skill/thinking since you’ll only get a little further than just running normal speed.