The directive of this thread is to get constructive community feedback on the Halo 5: Guardians gameplay elelements and hopefully come to the best possible conclusion on the balance of all gameplay elements from Spartan Abilities to Smart Scope to the weapon sandbox and more. I hope the very vocal community here can keep the thread alive throughout the Beta and even up to the game’s release in 2015.
I will update this post as the thread grows with more feedback and gameplay suggestions.
Before I get into Halo 5 let’s talk about the previous ones. The power of the previous Xbox consoles and computers in general were a lot less powerful over a decade ago, and Bungie were discovering what made Halo work back then as they went along. Not only was it a new IP with no blueprint for its future, but the hardware was a lot less powerful too. Halo CE and 2 were on the original Xbox which was hardly top of the line technology for its day. Halo 3 came out at the start of the Xbox 360’s life cycle; the technology was new and Bungie focused more on expanding upon Halo 2’s elements rather than experimenting with new things because coming up with an epic end to the trilogy took precedence over new multiplayer experiences. Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach were made to fulfill the number of games Bungie was contracted to make and since they didn’t have to focus as much on story they tried new gameplay elements. ODST had non-linear storytelling and open world campaign while Reach gave us Armor Abilities. Halo 4 tried to go in a new direction with the start of a new saga but it had moved far enough away from Halo’s core elements that they are returning to old form in an evolved way. With that said let’s talk about…
SPARTAN ABILITIES: I think they are a great addition that, just like hjacking vehicles, would have been a part of past Halos in some form if Bungie had more time and resources to test different gameplay mechanics. Let’s talk about balancing them.
GROUND POUND: Perhaps what will become the most frustrating thing to be on the receiving end of. It is an instant kill ability that everyone has and like Halo 4’s pre-title update Boltshot, can be the most easily abused for essentially free kills. While hovering in the air exposed to gunfire is great for balance, it needs two more things: only direct hits are instant kill, and using it inflicts health damage to yourself. Two reasons for this, 1: This makes it more risk vs reward and ensures you don’t spam it, and 2: Even with unbreakable bones and indestructible armor, the human body is a juicy meatsack made of 70% water and going from a velocity fast enough to create a shockwave to a sudden stop when you hit the ground would turn any normal human into jelly on the inside. Since they are Spartans with biofoam injectors they can get away with a 30% health damage penalty.
THRUSTER PACK: It seemed to be well balanced in the Beta: it has lower distance than Halo 4 and has a 4 second cooldown but some Pro players say it needs less distance. It shouldn’t be so low as to be pointless to even have it at all, at least be two or three Spartan widths.
SLIDE: Seems good. Not too far of a slide and not faster than sprint.
CLAMBER: This I feel should have always been in Halo. Some people prefer the old style of trick jumps because it shows skill but what they don’t realize is that trick jumps are only skillful because the old jumping system is clunky. Halo 1 and 2 were around before vaulting over obstacles and climbing onto edges had hardly even been attempted because computing hardware was stone age compared to tech from just 5 years later. Clamber stays because it is an expected feature in modern shooter games just like drifting is for modern racing games.
SPRINT: Tying it to shield recharge is a great balancing mechanic but it needs ine more thing: When your shields pop, you drop out of sprint for 1 second. I see people keep saying drop out of sprint when shot at all but that would actually help the sprinter get their shields back. If it wasn’t tied to shields then we could do it that way but since it is then do it the way I listed.
SMART SCOPE: Perhaps the most controversial because it is cosmetically like modern shooters and blocks a portion of the screen, so here is my solution: Scopeless and Holo/RDS weapons stay as they are since they don’t block much of the screen, scoped weapons like the DMR that have a big fat scope obstructing view get a projection of their scope’s point of view overlayed onto the center of their visor so their scope does not obstruct their view but they still have normal unscoped peripheral view around the edges of their screen and they can see their weapon’s ammo counter near the bottom. Sniper and rocket weapons get the full zoom scope of past Halos as we’ve already seen in the Beta.
WEAPONS SANDBOX: I like the weapons shown so far and I don’t mind the new designs but the damage multipliers are just like recent Halos and I think we need to bring back an element from Halo: CE and that is TILT. Just like the skull, in CE the slug throwers like conventional firearms would do reduced damage to shields and more damage to the body while Plasma and energy weapons would do the opposite. This is still present in later Halos but with each game the effect became less and less noticeable. Differentiating the weapon factions this way more noticeably would make the weapons more fun to use and encourage swapping weapons to fulfill a different role on your team. As for Promethean weapons have them partially phase through shields in about a 80/20 percent damage rate to do damage to health and shields at the same time to create a new niche for them.
Please leave your feedback and be sure to like this post if you like it.