What and When to Balance Weaponry?

On Balancing…
For those who don’t know, “balancing” is a term where a developer attempts to equalize an aspect of a player’s power (units, weaponry, vehicles etc.) whilst attempting to improve the sandbox and/or playing field; this does not translate to everything is the same, but rather it is based upon the fundamental that every aspect is filling a niche position in a player’s featured arsenal. whilst also have a potential tier system, as to not allow constant power imbalances. Now balancing, especially in any competitive format like Starcraft to Halo is not an easy task, and should be taking into consideration that it is mostly trial and error…

What and When to Balance…
Now after explaining balancing, I believe I may have found a new alternative to finding out what weapons need balancing in competitive or Arena, which should be considered for implementation or testing into a future update or most likely a future Halo FPS sequel. The system would be based upon a automatic statistical test every month (or maybe update) where a tally is recorded over time This test would be about how many times a certain weapon is picked up (ie how many player’s go out of their way for it) that occurred during that time frame… which should give an approximate estimation of the popularity of the weapon and its overall influence (power)… This popularity test should then be evaluated against the weapons past months and seen if an increase has been made (more popular) or if the weapon is the same (no favor) or declined (less popular), than previous iterations, giving a clear indication of the communities views about that weapon… If an increase has been seen in popularity, the weapon has clearly been improved. The end result of the testing is that all weapons of their respective tiers are picked up approximately with equal consideration… otherwise that weapon is just pointlessly lying on the map with no absolute purpose…

For Example:
Since last month and prior, the community has shown a decline in using the Bolt Shot, Suppressor, Needler and SPNKr Rocket Launcher (vs its counterpart the Rocket Launcher) due to projectile travel times and/or firing speed? This month we are altering and testing changes to the statistics of these weapons to better accommodate these weapons on the maps and allow players more options when approaching situations.

After the update, the testing shows that the Needler has an increase in popularity since last month and prior, thus been improved. But how improved? This will require further testing…

OP Thoughts
The reasoning I put this idea forward is because the only real way a weapon is balanced by 343 Industries, is through a long arduous process using the Community Managers who manage most affairs involved within the community, like threads being opened on Halo Waypoint about “Why a weapon is bad?” or “How can this weapon be better?” etc. Even professional gamers tweeting Bravo and such… like the only feasible way is through overwhelming opinion which is a long process…

In my opinion, 343 Industries could already be on top of certain weapons popularity in their sandbox and attempt to fix a decline in a less popular weapons (Needler, Suppressor) by giving it a buff based on suggestions and test it, or vice verse and nerf a overly (un)popular weapon and test it (ie Storm Rifle, Splinter Grenade) etc.

What to Balance!

  • Boltshot? - Slighty Slow Rate of Fire? - Suppressor - Slow Projectile Travel Speed, Slow Firerate Acceleration, Low Damage > Needs to be able to beat a Assault Rifle in a lot more situations either with Firerate Acceleration, Range or Travel Speed? - Needler - Slow Projectile Travel Speed, Minimal Needle Tracking, Low Damage before Supercombine > Needs to have a faster travel time and higher tracking for a faster kill time. - SPNKr Rocket Launcher - Slow Projectile Travel Speed > Needs to have a faster travel time like the original rockets or possible Fuel Rod Speed? - Spartan Laser? - Slow Charge Time? - Incineration Cannon? - Should be on some competitive maps? - Binary Rifle - Uncontrolled beam fire > Needs to be more like the Focus Rifle from Halo: Reach, where Players have alot more emphasis on control of the weapon, too much inconsistency.

I think it should stay,the balance fells right.

Nonething needs to be balanced. But maybe the CE Magnum to go back to porjectile bullets instead of hitscan.

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Question have you played ARENA at high competitive Onyx level? The Needler and Suppressor are rarely to never even used, as they are just so inconsistent and too risky to claim any potential advantage, they actually are disadvantages? Basically they do nothing for the map or gameplay…

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> Question have you played ARENA at high competitive Onyx level? The Needler and Suppressor are rarely to never even used, as they are just so inconsistent and too risky to claim any potential advantage, they actually are disadvantages? Basically they do nothing for the map or gameplay…

No,Iam not this good.
So I have no idea about the Needler in Onyx.

I disagree with a lot of your list, so I thought I’d take a stab at it.

SMG: needs a bit less range.

Storm rifle: needs to be weaker with a bit more range, but a little more overheat capacity (basically a covenant assault rifle).

plasma pistol: needs less tracking.

Needler: needs a better sound lol.

That’s pretty much all I’d change. The suppressor and bolt shot are good where they are. They don’t have the best damage output, but that is made up for by the tracking rounds. They’re worse guns with less skill needed. We don’t want them to be good guns with less skill needed. The binary is perfectly balanced in my opinion. It is a sniper with a big skill gap, but if used correctly, it is one of the most deadly snipers.

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> Question have you played ARENA at high competitive Onyx level? The Needler and Suppressor are rarely to never even used, as they are just so inconsistent and too risky to claim any potential advantage, they actually are disadvantages? Basically they do nothing for the map or gameplay…

Why in the world are you advocating for buffs to weapons that have tracking capabilities? Arguably they are the most balanced weapons considering their weapon traits compared to a lot of other weapons in the sandbox. Maybe the reason for why they’re not picked up is that there are far better weapons that kill faster while still retaining ease of use (like the SMG and storm rifle).

If you’re so keen on making the most competitive experience of halo, you should be a lot more concerned on the tier 1 automatic weapon balancing in this game, along with the easy power weapons like the plasma caster, fuel rod, and the hydra (tier 2 weapon).