What would have improved Spartan Ops.

Yo! Everyone on the forums from time to time gives their insight on what they either enjoyed or what they are critical of from time to time. Today I’m going to be critical of Spartan Ops and how I think the series could have been more fun and challenging.

First for the critical stuff:
For the most part, the thrill of Spartan Ops came from using the player’s unique spartan with other player across a co-op campaign of sorts. This campaign was released weekly and I did have fun speculating what the next episode was going to be.

However, the missions themselves were rather lackluster. It seemed like the rushed mission designers were quickly throwing together relentless waves of enemies to throw at the players without giving much thought about the precise challenges that could have been made for the mission at hand. Too often we all found ourselves at odds with precision and rapid firing FRG elites who could often take a direct hit from a missile and laugh at you as you were (again) on hit killed only to respawn and try again.

This was TEDIOUS.

Since the players had the ability to respawn for an infinite duration, most games became a matter of throwing yourself at the enemies with a PP and a precision weapon and hoping for the best.

And now for some solutions:
First and foremost… This is an ample opportunity to give the players limited lives. A number of us happened to really like Firefight, and the idea of a firefight game type that came with a story was a thrilling concept. With limited lives comes a lesser need to make ludicrously strong and frustrating enemies.

Secondly, with or without limited lives, it would be awesome if a majority of the missions were objective based. I happened to like Episode 5, Chapter One of Spartan Ops titled ‘Spartan Miller’ as your team tries to defend the research equipment that’s mapping the slip-space network on Requiem. There needed to be more missions like that where the team could fail if they do not complete set objectives.

Look to Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer for some insight on what types of objectives could be carried out: escort missions, object recovery, hacking, critical item activation/deactivation, enemies of interest and so on. Just build entire missions around those recognizable objectives. Heck, use the objectives from the Wargames so that there would be more transferable skill. There are plenty of the Spartan Ops missions that could have been a direct Dominion game. Retrieving objects is a lot like CTF. All of these objectives would require a player to be busy with the task while the other three cover for that player (instead of one player hitting a single control and instantly completing the desired task as the state of Spartan Ops right now).

This is where I’ll leave off. What do others here think?

I agree with the mass effect comparison. More objectives would have been nice. Even taking a note from older Halo games and include warthog driving sections, flying turret sections (halo reach) or even flying sections.

Some parts didn’t make me feel like a real spartan. I wanted to do something that made an impact.

As for now, a firefight-type scoring system would make the sp ops replayable.

> Some parts didn’t make me feel like a real spartan. I wanted to do something that made an impact.
>
> As for now, a firefight-type scoring system would make the sp ops replayable.

Ugh, yes, this too! How many times have we played with our friends on Spartan Ops and get confused about why one player was rated above another? Bring back the medal system please!

I would have preferred it if Spartan Ops had never existed. It takes up disc space which could have been used to increase the depth of the campaign. But instead we have 2 extremely linear, generic storyline’s/game-play.
Or we could have had more Custom Games Options, better Forging Items/Tools, a better Theatre mode, etc.

The storyline was mediocre at best, and the game-play had little-nothing to do with the storyline. On top of that, the game-play was horrifically stale. Rinse and Repeat the same dialogue, the same maps and the same objectives.

I appreciate your input, but this is more about how to make SpartanOps enjoyable rather than how much it may or may not suck.

Fully agree with all your ideas, especially the Dominion part.

There could have been a mission where one member of Fireteam Crimson has to capture and fortify a Covenant/Promethean base while the other members have to defend him while he was doing so. It would also be a really neat transition from War Games to Spartan Ops. War Games was always meant to be for training, and by this happening, we can finally see that training help our Spartans in combat. We haven’t seen much of that.

IMO the integration of canon and Spartan Ops was very poorly done.

The lag, dear God the insufferable lag! That needs to be their main priority, followed by making the missions diverse and memorable. Going through a canyon/Forerunner place and shooting aliens isn’t memorable, fighting a Scarab or flying a Pelican/Broadsword/Falcon is.

Yeah, the story telling side wasn’t all that great. I think it would have been better if every episode came with an opening prologue and an epilogue so the players could see the fruit of their labor as it were (or how the fruit was stolen from them…).

EDIT

The lag is terrible! Even when I’m playing with friends it becomes insufferable. A lot of that has to do with putting out far too many AIs for the game’s netcode to handle. That can be partially remedied with the limited lives concept as there would be a lesser need to put in so many enemies to make a mission ‘challenging’.

1.) Unlimited lives was a terrible idea. Spartan ops is technically an extension of campaign so logically it should be CHECKPOINT based. This would make everything so much more meaningful. If not that then limited lives (but I also want ODST style firefight to make a return so that would seem redundant)

2.) Fighting a bunch of fuel rod elites is not fun nor challenging, it is just incredibly annoying. Especially because of infinite lives.

3.) Push that button or defend/clear that area. Need I say more?

4.) Interesting objectives that only spartan teams could do. Even a reach marine with a pistol could kill 20 hunters if he respawned infinitely.

5.) Spartan ops missions HAVE to be made to reflect the story going on. Too often the only story in Spartan ops is in the between chapter cinematics.

6.) Bring back firefight and stop pretending spartan ops can satisfy the same audience wanting the same feel.

7.) Ammo is incredibly scarce for some reason. Never had that problem before, usually not even in ODST firefight

8.) More easter eggs?

9.) Better dialogue. Voice acting = good. Scripts = baaaad

I feel like I could do this all day

I think 343i shoud look at the Invasion, Dominion, and Extraction gametypes for inspiration; include objectives like capturing territories, planting bombs, capturing cores, planting beacons, and capturing bases.

Also, they should include some of the Campaign stuff that doesn’t fit in multiplayer; stuff like flying Pelicans and Broadswords and the like. Also, we need to more drivable Banshees and Scorpions; Season 1 had an aweful lot of the Warthog, Ghost, and Mantis, but only 2 oppurtunities each across 50 missions to pilot the Banshee and Scorpion.

> I feel like I could do this all day

Tank beats everything?

> > I feel like I could do this all day
>
> Tank beats everything?

Awww right in the feels… Loved that mission, it was so long and had everything you could ever want from a halo mission. Everything except the flood that is

> > I feel like I could do this all day
>
> Tank beats everything?

Was there even a Tank mission in SpOps? I remember there were some tanks on Apex, but my teammates spent 10 minutes getting them through the rocks so we could use them for more than 3 minutes.

My 2 main gripes are no scoring and no theater

I liked Spartan ops, it’s far less repetitive than Fire fight.

It has it’s problems but 343 is going to working on it for the next ten years so there’s going to be a lot of improvements, and you guys have already pointed out the obvious stuff that should be included in future missions.

Spartan ops having a checkpoint or lives system would be an improvement, along with a Fire fight scoring system, but I can’t see this happening until at least Halo 5.

If season 2 is going to be on Halo 4 I’d like missions featuring the Mammoth, Broadsword and Pelican. I don’t want these awesome vehicles to be a one time thing like the Sabre.

Does anybody else think that we should get bonus points for keeping friendly A.I alive? Yes I’m one of those people who don’t stick them on sight. Reach’s system was ok but I think we should be rewarded for keeping them alive instead of being punished for killing them. This is another thing I don’t think we’ll see until Halo 5.

As for the story for a mini campaign I found it pretty good. Don’t tell me that Halsey loosing her arm wasn’t one of the craziest plot twists you’ve ever seen.

Yeah, I have to agree. It is unlikely that we would see any of these improvements with Halo 4. It’s just a hypothetical thread about what would have made SpaOps a bigger success (overall, I really liked SpaOps).

Also: more friendly AI! Especially if a person is playing alone. It would be awesome to see some canon designs for Crimson Team.

Well first off there is the constant and horrid lag. Even if every other aspect of Spartan Ops was perfect, the lag renders it unplayable in anything but Solo or Splitscreen.

Second, having missions actually tied to the plot. The plot is mainly about Majestic, while you are just fighting off enemies in bases and doing other unrelated things. The second half wasn’t so bad about this, but the first half was just completely random.

Third, mission structure itself. There’s basically three styles of mission.
>Defend a generator.
>Clear a base of all enemies, pushing buttons to advance.
>Defend the previously cleared base from waves of enemies.

Why no boss battles? Why not have the Lich do something? Why not have multiple side-objectives that aren’t essential but affect the match (such as defend a generator that powers base defenses)? This way you would have more variety, and playstyles would develop over what objectives are the most crucial.

Fourth, the map structure. The maps are fairly small for campaign maps (some are just plain multiplayer maps), most are extremely linear, and you play the same map over and over again. Make separate maps for each mission, or do what the later episodes did and make large maps but cut portions of them off for each missions.

Fifth, the mechanics themselves. You can’t die, and difficulty is completely artificial. Forcing players to run at a horde of stupid but powerful fuel rod wielding enemies and respawn constantly is not good game design. Give the enemies actual combat capability, the ability to dodge and adapt. Give players limited lives so they can’t just plow through the mission and become bored with it.

More objectives would have been nice, but honestly I would have liked Spartan Ops better if it had been cut down by half.

There just wasn’t enough content gameplay or story wise to warrant 50 missions. I would have been fine with 25 10 minute missions. There were whole episodes where the missions were basically pointless in terms of the greater story.

Spartan Ops could have been a much tighter and compact experience and give just as much replay value as there wouldn’t have been as much tedious filler. Sometimes less is more. Honestly 343 tried a little to hard to give us SO content. I had similar issues with Battlefield premium, it brought a lot of content, but cutting ahead in the queue was kind of a yoink! move for default players. It was already a good deal without that.

I applaud 343 for trying to give us value for Spartan Ops but I will take quality over quantity any day of the week. Despite my issues with Spartan Ops I hope that 343 doesn’t abandon the concept and improves it in the future.

But I also don’t think they should give up on Firefight either. Making Firefight a gamemode to be used on larger multiplayer maps with forge(let us troll AI however we please/setup firefight how we would like)

As others have pointed out - LAG when playing Co-Op was terrible. It made the missions truly painful to complete. I think a lot of people hated Spartan Ops just because of this reason. I do not recall one single co-op game where game play was every good .

And Co-Op Ops game play can be done. I have played Reach FireFight many many times where there is barely any lag with 4 players and 30+ enemies on the field. So it was possible in previous versions of Halo - why not now?

On the plus side, if you played Spartan Ops Solo on Legendary you got a chance to really sharpen your skills for Multiplayer. I used all 50 missions to sharpen my skills, making it a requirement that I did not die on Normal or higher or I had to replay the mission. The worst one I thought was “The Gate” where you go up again hordes of ForeRunner while protecting those two terminals.

What I would like for Futures Spartan Ops changes is the ability to turn on skulls (grunt birthday etc.), the ability to see medals and score during game play (i.e. shoot a grunt see +50 points etc.) and much better Co-Op game play.

Milton