Variety in the Sandbox

Ever since Halo 2, we’ve had a consistent trend within Halo’s sandbox: lack of variety. After 2004, the bulk of weapons and vehicles that we’ve seen have been, in no way, memorable. The Spectre and the Prowler were not only copies of each other, but copies of the Warthog. After CE, the Plasma Rifle became a typical bullet-hose with its only difference from the SMG and the Spiker Rifle (and the BPR) being its color. The Beam Rifle is a purple Sniper that simply overheats, and the Fuel Rod Gun (after CE) is just a spammable Rocket Launcher; boring.

And Halo 2 isn’t alone in this. Halo 3 took the reskinning to an entirely new level, where it suddenly became an ideal idea to have the entireity of the dual-wieldable weapons being the same. Halo: Reach freshened things up a bit, giving us the Plasma Launcher and the Focus Rifle, but it wasn’t better. And above all, Halo 4 gave us not only one of the largest weapon sandboxes, but also arguably the most redundant.

We shouldn’t have a [insert weapon] [insert faction] checklist. Each faction, human, Covenant, and Forerunner, shouldn’t have to have counterparts with each other. Just because we have a human mid-ranged semi-automatic weapon we don’t need a Covenant counterpart. We don’t need both a Forerunner and a Covenant sniper. There doesn’t have to be a machine gun for all factions.

If we’re going to have a large sandbox, let’s do all that we can to keep it unique. Let’s keep it diverse. And the first part in that is to get to the root of the problem:

Both dual-wielding and personal loadouts can be pinned as the source of reskins. In Halo 2, dual-wielding forced Bungie to nerf each individual weapon in order to prevent dual-weapons to be overpowered; this caused a lot of unique traits to be removed from each weapon with the Plasma RIfle’s plasma stun being one. In Halo 4, balancing each weapon for personal loadouts resulted in a lot of weapons being the same.

However, while dual-wielding and personal loadouts certainly contributed to oversaturating the sandbox with excessively similar weapons, it doesn’t have to be that way; balancing those features doesn’t require stripping weapons of their variety. In short, creating reskins is just a shortcut.

And with that, let’s make it clear to 343 that it’s possible for them to have a diverse sandbox. If they choose to keep loadouts and/or return dual-wielding, let’s inform them, regardless if we like those features or not, that they don’t need to butcher the sandbox because of it.

And, let’s tell them to give us an option in Custom Games to modify the traits of each weapon. That too.

I think bungie realized this and tried to fix it in Reach.

The needle rifle feels distinctly alien compared to the carbine which just fires glowing green bullets.

The Focus rifle, while being similar to the sentinel beam, was more unique than the beam rifle.

The plasma launcher was a great divergence from the Fuel Rod cannon.

The plasma repeater seemed to be a new take on the covenant overheat mechanic, though I’m not sure why they just didnt make it the plasma rifle.

The…revenant? the red covenant car thing in Reach was more unique compared to the warthog unlike past attempts at a covie-hog.

From a lore point of view, you are going to get some similar weapons due to both sides needing to fill similar roles militarily.

The problem is the dependance on overpowered precision weapons, particularly the BR. When you have a weapon that can do what every other weapon can do, but better and at all ranges, why would anybody ever try to pick up a different weapon?

The second problem is the lack of health. Due to the fact that you basically die when your shields drop, you can’t risk running out and killing with other weapons. So you have to sit back and pick enemies off with the precision weapon like it’s Call of Duty.

Yes, the Magnum in Halo 1 was the worst offender, but I at least had the option to toss that weapon. I can do the whole campaign without firing a single Magnum round.

Basically what Neo said.

It doesn’t matter about weapon variety. As long as there are precision weapons, then EVERYONE and their mothers will use them.

As much as I tried to dominate and did pretty well, with the assault rifle in Halp 4. I would lose alot to the battlerifle, post patch. The BR being the reason I left Halp 4.

> The Spectre and the Prowler were not only copies of each other, but copies of the Warthog.

I agree. To amend the lack of diversity, the spectre should replace the warthog, as well as the ghost, mongoose, and scorpion tanks. In fact, all the vehicles should just be replaced by the spectre.

Spectre master race

> > The Spectre and the Prowler were not only copies of each other, but copies of the Warthog.
>
> I agree. To amend the lack of diversity, the spectre should replace the warthog, as well as the ghost, mongoose, and scorpion tanks. In fact, all the vehicles should just be replaced by the spectre.
>
> Spectre master race

Life would be easier if we had flying Spectres…

And Spectanks.

Also Specgooses.

> The Spectre and the Prowler were not only copies of each other, but copies of the Warthog.

And both have subsequently be dropped.

Personally, Reach had the best vehicle sandbox. Bring back the Falcon (much as I love the Hornet, it’s a Banshee with a few bullet points tweaked) and the Revenant to H5 and we’ll be golden on that front.

> After CE, the Plasma Rifle became a typical bullet-hose with its only difference from the SMG and the Spiker Rifle (and the BPR) being its color.

Note quite. PR stripped shields faster than either the SMG or the Spiker. Small thing but still a thing none the less.

> The Beam Rifle is a purple Sniper that simply overheats,

Which allows for sloppy double tap kills at the cost of ammo and a “reload.”

> and the Fuel Rod Gun (after CE) is just a spammable Rocket Launcher; boring.

Yeah.

Overall more could and should be done to make the rest of the weapons more unique. Others have stated too that Reach’s weapon sandbox was the best and I’m inclined to agree with them. If it’s not the best it’s at least the best iteration we’ve gotten so far.

> Halo: Reach freshened things up a bit, giving us the Plasma Launcher and the Focus Rifle, but it wasn’t better.

How dare you forget the Pro Pipe.

> We shouldn’t have a [insert weapon] [insert faction] checklist. Each faction, human, Covenant, and Forerunner, shouldn’t have to have counterparts with each other. Just because we have a human mid-ranged semi-automatic weapon we don’t need a Covenant counterpart. We don’t need both a Forerunner and a Covenant sniper. There doesn’t have to be a machine gun for all factions.

Arguably?

Yes. We do.

Because spawning all the Promethean Knights, Crawlers, and Watchers with Scattershots, BiRis or iCannons is insane. The weapons are needed, if for anything, to make enemies that aren’t insane to challenge and also makes sense. You can’t have them wielding UNSC or Covy weapons.

And once they are in the game, it’s only a simple hop, skip and a step to putting them into the MP. And creating two weapons, one for use in SP and one for MP is a lot of excessive work and, with the MP being canon adventures for the SIVs in the UNSC, illogical as well.

That said: They don’t need to be reskins. They shouldn’t be reskins.

And arguably they aren’t complete reskins. The Suppressor could not be used at the same ranges and in the same fashion as the AR. For starters it had projectiles. AR was hitscan. That already chops down it’s effective range and IIRC, it had larger spread and larger bloom than the AR. It was a rifle sized SMG designed for even more CQC ranges than even the AR.

Were they far too similar? I can agree with that. Has this been a reoccurring problem since H2? Yeah. Should more be done to make the weapons different? Yes.

face it methew the entire promethean weapon set was a reskin with slight differences
they were not UNIQUE, they may of had slight differences, but their functions were not UNIQUE, to the point where their base functions are the issue

  • scattershot was a high spread shotgun
  • boltshot was a close quarters shotgun with higher spread than a shotgun
  • incineration cannon was an OP splash rocket that had a reticule size of a sniper rifle
  • binary was a 1 shot sniper, that should not exist
  • supressor was only marginally different to the other 2 assault rifles in the game
  • light rifle was essentially a slightly more dynamic DMR, that would not be nearly as effective at what it does if flinch didn’t exist

pulse grenade is the only unique one, which is the power drain essentially, though its use as an EMP grenade was not nearly as effective as what it could be

also the brutes mainly used spikers, carbines, grav hams and brute shots in halo 3, yes the spiker was horrid but the other 2 were unique from the rest of the sandbox, it’s not too hard to create some form of unique weapon…they created none.

also while i’m here the sticky det is the poor mans grenade launcher, though in saying that i think a stick function could be cool on the grenade launcher, so that is one cool feature.

railgun doesn’t really serve any unique purpose, it is just a charge up sniper focus rifle > railgun

SAW no matter how it is changed is a high fire rate AR with a faster kill time, it is not unique, nor is it balanced within the sandbox, to nerf it would turn it into a slightly different automatic, to keep it the same will leave it broken.

Halo CE.

The UNSC and Covenant both had weapons that filled similar ranges. These weapons also differed drastically in their functions and applications.

Where Halo went wrong is Halo 2, where previously fine weapons were changed or removed, and replaced with thematically different variants of the same gun (see Beam Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Battle Rifle - Carbine).

If the UNSC had the Sniper, the Covenant had an arcing fuel rod that increases in damage the farther it travels, and the Forerunner had the sentinel beam, you’ve created three unique long-range weapons without simply slapping a paintjob on a pre-existing one.

You do not need an Orange DMR in order for the forerunner military to be functional. You simply need some kind of weapon that fits the role of a long range weapon.

> Both dual-wielding and personal loadouts can be pinned as the source of reskins

It’s not loadouts. It’s the community being against any form of ‘rock-paper-scissors’. If you put a ton of unique weapons on the map itself, people would still complain, and the map itself would be stripped of most of those weapons in competitive gametypes.

People want variety, they also want simplicity. It’s two ideals butting heads.

> Arguably?
>
> Yes. We do.

Well actually we don’t, due to the unique nature of the Forerunner.

Most Forerunner enemies are non-humanoid machines. Meaning they could have built in weapons the player can’t use. For example, there’s no reason Crawlers have to drop Boltshots upon being killed. In Halo Ce you couldn’t use the Sentinel’s beam weapon, yet I don’t remember complaints about it.

Weapons like the Incendiary Cannon could be Knight only weapons, which in turn would mean they are the only ones players can use and the only ones that end up in multiplayer.

I’m not saying that we can’t have unique weapons that we use both in campaign and multiplayer. I’m just saying it’s not necessary.

I was really disappointed in the forerunner weapons in Halo 4. Felt like there was a chance to make the sandbox fresh and I too saw them as redundant.

The plasma rifle is actually a beast in Halo 3 if you use it right. Drains shields like a -Yoink!-. Three shots and a melee and they’re dead. Bout as effective as a mauler.

I hear you, Halo 4’s weapons lacked ingenuity, and the skill it takes to wield them definitely suffered.

I think Reach is the holy grail of weapons, at least as far as creativity goes.

The pro pipe was effective as EMP against vehicles and deadly against infantry but took skill to use.

The Plasma Launcher was killer against both infantry and vehicles but landing shots with it took some talent.

The Focus Rifle was deadly but not a 1sk weapon… you needed to maintain contact the entire time. The obvious downside being everyone on the map could see you. Only the very talented – or the very foolish – used it.

There are some examples that didn’t work so well, but I like that games direction more than any other.

And please don’t give us dual-wielding again. It’s hokey, and it really degrades melee and grenade combat.

> When you have a weapon that can do what every other weapon can do, but better and at all ranges, why would anybody ever try to pick up a different weapon?

Just because a weapon is unique does not mean it has to be as useless as the Sticky Detonator or Brute Spiker. Unique weapons should be buffed into power weapons (like the Grenade Launcher), weapons that are deadly when combined with a headshot-capable precision rifle (like shield-stripping Plasma Rifles), or weapons that have utility uses (vehicle-disabling Plasma Pistols). Weapons will be varied, pickups will be worthwhile, and players won’t be virtually defenseless at spawn. Everyone wins.

> > When you have a weapon that can do what every other weapon can do, but better and at all ranges, why would anybody ever try to pick up a different weapon?
>
> Just because a weapon is unique does not mean it has to be as useless as the Sticky Detonator or Brute Spiker. Unique weapons should be buffed into power weapons (like the Grenade Launcher), weapons that are deadly when combined with a headshot-capable precision rifle (like shield-stripping Plasma Rifles), or weapons that have utility uses (vehicle-disabling Plasma Pistols). Weapons will be varied, pickups will be worthwhile, and players won’t be virtually defenseless at spawn. Everyone wins.

Problem is you’re now adding features or combining them with other weapons in order to match up to the DMR/BR, which still dominate them at medium or long range. A Plasma Pistol might help you take out shields, but you need to get close and hit them with it before wasting time to switch out and shoot them. By the time you’re in range or strip their shields you’ve already been hit and most likely being shot in the face. Only way it can balance out for you is if you increase bloom and the enemy player needs to take a moment to reset his while yours is at zero.

Also might need team shooting, which some people have said goes against Halo where everybody apparently duels everybody (although I’ve never had trouble 1v1 ARing someone in Reach).

Also, I take offense to you calling the Spiker useless. It’s still my best K/D ratio weapon in Reach, at 136.

> A Plasma Pistol might help you take out shields, but you need to get close and hit them with it before wasting time to switch out and shoot them. By the time you’re in range or strip their shields you’ve already been hit and most likely being shot in the face.

Did you never come across the noob combo in Halo 2? EMP-switch-headshot killed much faster than a 4-shot from a BR. Similarly, consider if the Plasma Rifle could strip shields fast enough so that you could switch back to the BR and get the killing headshot before your opponent could fire a fourth shot from his BR. I did that a lot in Halo 3, but I don’t know how objectively effective it is compared to the Halo 3 BR’s four-shot.

> Also, I take offense to you calling the Spiker useless. It’s still my best K/D ratio weapon in Reach, at 136.

It’s not difficult to have a high K/D with a weapon no one uses. If no one uses it, you never get killed with it. A more appropriate statistic would be your K/D while using it against like-skilled players who aren’t.

> Problem is you’re now adding features or combining them with other weapons in order to match up to the DMR/BR, which still dominate them at medium or long range.

How is that a problem? It’s no secret that Halo plays best when players start with precision weapons. That doesn’t make them overpowered; that’s just Halo. That’s why most Halo: CE games used the AR+Pistol starts instead of the Plasma Pistol starts, why BR starts was added in Halo 2 when no one liked the default SMG starts, and why “veto for BRs” was the pre-game lobby chant in Halo 3.

The Scattershot, Sticky Det, Railgun and SAW were definitely new/unique weapons, and it’s ignorant to disregard them as such. The Scattershot had bounce shots, more effective range and was quicker to shoot, but it was harder to use. You shoot an inch to the left of where you’re supposed to and the target takes no damage. I think that the Stciky det and the SAW were a bit too much like other weapons, but still they were fun to use most of the time, and gave us a break from the tired, old power weapons we’ve seen in every game. The Railgun was an amazing addition. You need skill to use it, and you need skill to dodge it. Halo 4’s weapons might have been redundant for the most part, but these four new eapons and the new functioning used by the needler were great additions. Scattershot 4 lyfe.

> The Scattershot had bounce shots, more effective range and was quicker to shoot, but it was harder to use. You shoot an inch to the left of where you’re supposed to and the target takes no damage.

It’s range is random, so while it might occasionally be longer than the Shotty, it’s often less. W/O a doubt the most inconsistent, BS weapon I’ve experience in Halo. The bounce would’ve been nice if it wasn’t so darn inconsistent, to the point where the bouncing doesn’t matter at all.

As for the SAW, it’s just an AR that kills quicker, has more ammo, and is more spammable at range. I’m all for an LMG in Halo, but that’s not the way to do it.

> The Railgun was an amazing addition. You need skill to use it, and you need skill to dodge it.

It’s not that hard at all to use, I’ve seen shots where the thing nearly arced 90 degrees to hit a player due to the insane bullet magnetism.

> Halo 4’s weapons might have been redundant for the most part, but these four new eapons and the new functioning used by the needler were great additions. Scattershot 4 lyfe.

What new functioning of the Needler? It fires just like it always has.

Copypasta from another thread:

> Halo 4’s weapon sandbox was the best in the series. The primary weapons aren’t reskins, they’re all unique with different attributes. Strengths and weaknesses.
>
> The Suppressor was the best primary for close-quarters engagements. It had the fastest rate of fire, but had a large spread, making it poor at long-range engagements. The Assault Rifle was better for longer distances, but didn’t perform as well at close range. The Storm Rifle performs similarly to the Assault Rifle except that it kills faster, but it uses a plasma battery rather than magazines, meaning it has limited ammunition and also cannot be reloaded.
>
> The Battle Rifle and Carbine were the best marksman rifles for close to mid ranges. The Battle Rifle’s three-shot burst made it powerful for headshots, but its recoil and inaccuracy made it less viable at long range. The Carbine was also potent at close-mid range, because it has the fastest rate of fire of any marksman rifle, but does the least damage, meaning that more shots need to hit their target for it to be effective, requiring good aim and making it less powerful over range. The DMR and LightRifle were better at longer ranges with their accuracy. The DMR loses to the Battle Rifle and Carbine up close, but with its accuracy and bullet speed, it beats them at range. The LightRifle is more powerful than the DMR, taking one shot less to kill, but its projectiles travel slower (doesn’t make sense because it’s a LIGHTrifle, but oh well), meaning you need better accuracy to master it.
>
> This kind of balance provides a more diverse and rich sandbox than seen in previous Halo games. Did anyone ever use the Plasma Rifle? Or did anyone ever drop a Battle Rifle to pick up an Assault Rifle? Not really, because some weapons were just useless (Plasma Rifle, Spiker, etc.), and the Battle Rifle and its cousins were clearly superior to everything else. Now, one has to think about their situation and avoid certain engagements depending on their weapon selection, and all weapons have a purpose.
>
> Regardless, it doesn’t matter if they’re “unique” or not. It’s because each faction needs their own weaponry. The Covenant need the Storm Rifle and Carbine, the Prometheans need the Suppressor and Lightrifle, and the UNSC need the Assault Rifle and BR/DMR. We can’t have the Covenant using Assault Rifles and the Prometheans using Battle Rifles.

> face it methew the entire promethean weapon set was a reskin with slight differences
> they were not UNIQUE, they may of had slight differences, but their functions were not UNIQUE, to the point where their base functions are the issue

How can I face something I’m already facing?

> Were they [the Promy and Covy weapons] far too similar? I can agree with that.

And like I said; Literally, since I was being literal before and I’m being literal now, the Promy weapons aren’t complete reskins.

> pulse grenade is the only unique one, which is the power drain essentially,

It’s not even related to a Power Drain. It does weak damage to shields. It takes far too long to ever be considered in the same ballpark range as a Power Drain.

With it’s short delay and absolutely devastating DPS to health, it is designed to be thrown at a shieldless target for near instant kills.

It’s a clean up grenade.

> though its use as an EMP grenade was not nearly as effective as what it could be

It doesn’t have an EMP function. Nothing about it even remotely hints to that nature.

> also while i’m here the sticky det is the poor mans grenade launcher,

The Sticky Det isn’t supposed to be a Grenade Launcher.

They took the trap aspect of the Grenade Launcher, which was horrid in it, and made a new weapon around that idea.

> railgun doesn’t really serve any unique purpose, it is just a charge up sniper focus rifle > railgun

The Railgun isn’t a ‘charge up sniper rifle’ and the Focus Rifle doesn’t compare to it at all.

As for a purpose? As a platform between dealing chip damage with BRs and the near instant kill times of Rockets against vehicles.

> SAW no matter how it is changed is a high fire rate AR with a faster kill time, it is not unique, nor is it balanced within the sandbox, to nerf it would turn it into a slightly different automatic, to keep it the same will leave it broken.

How is it broken?

> > SAW no matter how it is changed is a high fire rate AR with a faster kill time, it is not unique, nor is it balanced within the sandbox, to nerf it would turn it into a slightly different automatic, to keep it the same will leave it broken.
>
> How is it broken?

It’s not necessarily broken as a concept, but rather overpowered. Its range is far too long with its high DPS.

> How can I face something I’m already facing?

i should of iterated my point, if the promethean weapons return with the same general functions, the weapons will get the same response, despite you realising they are similar it seems from your view like they can be tweaked it something unique…i disagree

> And like I said; Literally, since I was being literal before and I’m being literal now, the Promy weapons aren’t complete reskins.

i wasn’t stating the promethean weapons were clones of covenant weapons, i stated what the weapons performed like, mainly OP human weapons to be exact

> It’s not even related to a Power Drain. It does weak damage to shields. It takes far too long to ever be considered in the same ballpark range as a Power Drain.

it covers the same area as the power drain and has the same general function as a power drain, if the question could both of these be featured in the same game (no) and the answer is no then they are similar enough to have the same general function.

yes it is not as effective as the power drain, and yes it has kill opportunity, however it’s use as a resrtiction of movement is the same

you know what else is a clean up grenade…a grenade, the features of the power drain and pulse are both good, if their basic attributes were combined it’d make for a great nade

> It doesn’t have an EMP function. Nothing about it even remotely hints to that nature.

i was more comparing it to how it should function by that point, the pulse nade is not effective in its current state, as it lacks the presence of the frag and plasma, despite what it performs like it was intended to perform like a power drain, i’m pretty sure the devs alluded to that fact pre-release

> The Sticky Det isn’t supposed to be a Grenade Launcher.
>
> They took the trap aspect of the Grenade Launcher, which was horrid in it, and made a new weapon around that idea.

and it tanked…

> The Railgun isn’t a ‘charge up sniper rifle’ and the Focus Rifle doesn’t compare to it at all.
>
> As for a purpose? As a platform between dealing chip damage with BRs and the near instant kill times of Rockets against vehicles.

rifle is an unreliable weapon that is intended to be a 1sk (despite sponging) it doesn’t have the range of a sniper rifle and requires a charge time, it serves no purpose other than killing a player instantly, on foot vs on foot it is just a charge up short range sniper

regarding vehicles the concussion performs similarly to the rail in disrupting vehicles and applying decent damage.

the rail and the sticky det are both unreliable online and fill up niches that other weapons can perform better or similar to.

> How is it broken?

if personal ordnance didn’t exist and there was only 1 saw on the map, the issue is that there is not skill required

grenade launcher, snipe, shotty, even rockets have some form of aiming requirements and risk…the saw does not, you do not need to aim with the saw, there is no counterplay once you are in range of someone who is average or above

if it fired differently so that it required a high aiming skillgap then yeah saw would work great, but until then, it is just an AR with more range, faster killtime and higher rate of fire.