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PART 1

The sandbox is the most important thing in a game because it defines what a player can use in gameplay. Since Halo 2, the sandbox of Halo has grown more and more inbalanced and we come up with "useless" weapons within the sandbox. Halo, being a weapon pickup game rather than a weapon progression, should not go down this path of having weapons that are superior to other weapons.

That said, the new sandbox for Halo 4 should be modeled after CE's, but with new and innovative weapons that are balanced with each other.

The sandbox for CE was ultimately defined by this: every weapon could kill in its own way. This "way" is called a niche, and a niche is what something excels in. Weapons should NEVER overlap in niche (be able to accomplish two or more niches to a great extent). The CE Pistol was a Mid range weapon that was only decent to use in the other two ranges, and wasn't superior in those ranges either. So, while it was capable at multiple ranges, it did not infringe on the niche of the Sniper or the Shotgun at their ranges and its niche was defined as Mid range.

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Niches go beyond range, however. It also applies to effectiveness against different enemies and utility in battle.

For example, let's compare the Rocket to the Laser. The Rocket and Laser both excel in heavy damage, but have less spare ammunition to balance it out. The Rocket fires a projectile and the Laser fires an almost instantaneous high energy blast. Both do high damage against vehicles and infantry alike. The Rocket excels at being able to multi task shooting at more vehicles and infantry better than the Laser and has the benefit of a bigger ammunition supply. The Laser, though, can shoot farther, deals more damage, and can land a hit within a second at a longer range while the Rocket must wait for its projectile to make contact.

So, the Rocket can be effective against more enemies due to a blast radius and more rockets to fire, but a Laser is almost garunteed a kill and can fire at long ranges. Players, therefore, use these distinctive qualities to measure which would be more effective in a situation.

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So, the sandbox of a balanced Halo game should not be of weapon overall effectiveness, but effectiveness in niche. Since a Mid range weapon is generally a utilitarian weapon that is decent at the most amount of niches (but excels more in Mid range), it thus becomes an ideal starting weapon. Making a utilitarian too effective at certain niches (such as a DMR being able to destroy vehicles and cross-map effectively) is bad for the sandbox since there is no reason to supplement the utilitarian's faults and thus it becomes the sole weapon used in the game in place of the full utilization of the sandbox like a weapon pickup game should ultimately attempt to become.

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Making other weapons in the sandbox ideal to pick up for a specific reason(s) and not making any other weapon too advantageous for the user will also make the sandbox balanced and teeming with variety.
If you didn't know, rockets are close-ranged weapons.
Part 2

The utilitarian weapon in any Halo game is the workhorse for a respawned player and thus must be decent to use in various situations, but not to the point of niche superiority.

In these modern Halo games, however, there are even utilitarian weapons that best other utilitarian weapons.

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR SANDBOX BALANCE

Utilitarian weapons must thus be modeled like this:

Two Utilitarian weapons (Rifle and Pistol)

With two precision/utilitarian weapons, they should balance out via strengths and weaknesses of ranges.
So, the best way for two of them would be:
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Shorter Range: Pistol>Rifle
Mid Range: Pistol=Rifle
Longer Range: Rifle>Pistol


Three Utilitarian weapons (Rifle, Pistol, and Carbine)

However, I find it likely that a 3rd precision/utilitarian weapon (we'll call it a Carbine for the hell of it) will return, and we'll have a triangle.
So, the formula for that would be:
Quote:
Shorter Range: Pistol>Rifle>Carbine
Mid Range: Carbine>Pistol>Rifle
Longer Range: Rifle>Carbine>Pistol


This way, it will always be that of options for picking one or the other(s) up instead of always having a mainstream weapon to use (this system also promotes AR/Pistol starts).

My suggestions (unrelated to necessity of sandbox balance):
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So the way I figure it, the Carbine can be burst and the Rifle and Pistol can be single shot.

All are four shot (to reduce confusion and promote team shooting) but base reticules, ammo supply and capacity, and scopes can best limit these weapons to the formula, while they also configure the other weapons in the sandbox to work around these precision weapons to ensure a sandbox balance and a difference of niches instead of a level of effectiveness (level of effectiveness ultimately makes for weapons that are bad rather than weapons that simply work in different situations).


These two systems balance out multiple utilitarian weapons, while still clinging to the belief that no utilitarian weapon should be too good to use in a large amount of situations/niches.
"En Taro Adun" wrote:
If you didn't know, rockets are close-ranged weapons.

I know. I mentioned that one must wait for a Rocket projectile to connect to a target while the Laser has an almost instantaneous energy blast that makes the Laser more ideal for longer range destruction.
Part 3

The other weapons in a sandbox are just as important as the utilitarian weapon(s). They are made specifically for the prospect of gaining a certain tactical advantage that the weapons a player starts with don't have.

Thus, they all should be just as effective in their niche as every other weapon in the sandbox. This means that a Shotgun must be as useful at short range as a Sniper is at long range as a Utilitarian weapon is at Mid range as a Rocket is against vehicles and large amounts of infantry as a Plasma weapon is against shields (should also have plasma freeze for a supplement for less damage to health) as a Human "bullet" weapon is against health (has larger capacity of output to supplement less daamge to shields).

In other words, the tactical usefulness in their field of use must be equal to the tactical usefulness in the fields of use of other weapons

They must all be useful and worth picking up for their own reason(s). If picking up an AR is tactically superior to picking up a Plasma Rifle because the AR can do both niches rather than because the situation at hand calls for it, then it is not balanced.

This also brings us to another point: Covenant weapons should not be superceded in effectiveness by Human weapons in the multiplayer experience. They should all do their job to where I think perhaps having a Plasma Rifle and Assault Rifle on hand is a good idea for a certain set of situations.

Combinations should be key to how the game is played. Holding two close range weapons makes you a powerhouse at close range, but holding a long range and close range weapon makes you able to hit close range and long range (which is countered at Mid range). Holding two Covenant weapons makes you able to drain shields fast, but holding a human weapon and a Covenant weapon utilizes both of their qualities to create a good combo.

Other things like overheating and ammunition come into play as well. Lets say I have a Rocket. what I want to do is get a weapon that has enough ample ammuntion to help me continue on engaging even after my Rocket runs out of its limited ammo supply. Let's say I have a plasma weapon that overheats, I would want to be holding a weapon that takes standard ammunition and can fire as long as I have enough ammunition rather than after I have fired enough shots for the gun to have to cool down.

This is why the two weapon system came into play: so that people would be walking combinations rather than having everything on hand, and players could pick and choose what they wanted to carry and thus what tactical qualities they want to bring into battle. Balancing out combinations is yet a another key factor into making Halo a truely balanced game.
Part 4

TL;DR
:

-All weapons should have their own usefulness in battle

-No one weapon should excel to the point of nullifying the use of another weapon

-Utilitarian weapons should be good weapons off the spawn that do not have too many advantages that can also nullify the use of other weapons

-No one combination should be the Trump Card to any situation but rather combinations should merely add a certain tactical advantage to the player that might not have been accomplished by another combination

[b]Discuss[/b]
I actually very-much agree with your Tri-Utility model. A faster-firing Pistol to start with that isn't accurate at long range, a BR of sorts with a 3 round burst that's slightly more accurate and slowed only a little from the Pistol, but is useless at longer ranges, and then a slower-firing DMR type weapon that's accurate at longer ranges, but will get dominated at Pistol/BR range because of its firing speed.

Brilliant. We just built Halo 4 XD
I actually helped in a thread on what eventually became Reach, too. Tw Inkogito I believe the name was of the OP. I don't recall us wanting the addition of bloom, though.
I don't feel this is justified for an actual part, but I think it should still be typed out.

Whatever new mechanics that are inputted into the game must be balanced out with pros and cons.

AA's were done in a sloppy way, and some are superior than others. If any new mechanics are to be introduced, they should be with the core sandbox balance values in mind and must adapt to them rather than the other way around.
No AA and fix bloom wiil make halo 4 multiplayer WAYYY better than reach.
Halo 4 should be like the olders halos, not like reach Yoink!
"lipao255" wrote:
No AA and fix bloom wiil make halo 4 multiplayer WAYYY better than reach.
Halo 4 should be like the olders halos, not like reach Yoink!

Halo 4 shoudl be a game of options. I won't care if bloom or AA's are in the game as long as i can play matchmaking where they aren't there.
I think weapon variety would do the game good. Also, tweak the Needler, because that thing is probably the worst weapon in the game's series. A rapid-firing homing projectile weapon is already overpowered, but after a few hits it's instant death? That's taking things too far.
If the utility weapon is difficult to use, players can actually move quicker and strafe effectively, then it can be a powerful quick killing weapon.

People act like every CE Pistol kill was a 3 shot kill. So far from that.

If the utility weapon is nerfed, everything falls apart and you get an AR Melee game rather than a real shooter.

Halo needs to return to the HaloCE and Halo2 model.

But no doubt some 343 guy is figuring out a way to make the utility weapon terrible as I type this.
Using the CE sansbox as evidence for anything other than arguing that a game needs a single dominant weapon is foolishness. Seriously, that game had no balance in multiplayer. It was a sumo wrestler and a feather sitting on a see-saw. I highly doubt any game moving forward will resemble the nostalgic romanticism you associate with the HCE multiplayer experience.
"Longhorn1011" wrote:
Using the CE sansbox as evidence for anything other than arguing that a game needs a single dominant weapon is foolishness. Seriously, that game had no balance in multiplayer. It was a sumo wrestler and a feather sitting on a see-saw. I highly doubt any game moving forward will resemble the nostalgic romanticism you associate with the HCE multiplayer experience.


It appears the bungie.net folks have arrived.

It was fun here while it lasted.

The Pistol lost to rockets/sniper/shotgun at their intended ranges. But it also meant you had a chance against all three power weapons. That's balance.

In Reach, you've got no chance with that pitiful 5 shot DMR. That's not balance.
OP this post is filled to the brim of WIN. All my wishes for H4 weapon balance in one post... fantastic. As Chernobyled said earlier it was extremely difficult to 3 shot over distance because you had to LEAD your shots. Plus each and every weapon had its own specialty which made every weapon useful.

Pistol-Primary mid range weapon. Can be used at other ranges if player is skillful enough with it. Bullets "disappeared after a range" (search it on Youtube) which made it impossible to cross map.

AR- Primary Close Range Weapon. Due to high fire rate kills extremely fast at close range but a huge reticule and bullet travel time hinder it at any other ranges.

Sniper-Primary long range weapon.

Rockets-Anti Vehicular Weapon. Can also be use against infantry but only at closer ranges due to firing a projectile.

PR-Close range weapon. Has higher kill time than AR but plasma freezing effect makes this weapon extremely useful to stop opponents from strafing and moving. Tighter reticule allows it to also be used at the distance between close and mid range.

Shotgun-Very close range weapon. Outside of AR range its almost useless.

PP-Close Range weapon. Has the ability to drain shields immediately via overcharge. Can freeze opponents in place.

Needler-Close-Mid Range weapon. Even though it has a higher killtime than the pistol the homing effect makes it more easy to use.

If Halo 4 has CEs weapon balance itll be one Yoink! of a game.
"ThreeSixXero" wrote:
Discuss

It is going to be hard to discuss when you're right. The only point that needs to be brought up is the relationship between the DMRs and the ARs of the world.

One side wants the ARs to be near worthless and useless weapons suitable only to distracting the casuals and the people of online play, much like how you would jingle car keys in front of a baby or give chinese made lead paint covered toys to toddlers. They want the utlitarian weapon to be the domineering gun in the game. They also want to start with it at all times. Because any other weapons that they could have made usable to fight said superweapon off spawn have been made useless at their request or through their inaction.

I find that last bit ironic.

To contrast this, the other side, which I am part of, doesn't want this. They want weapon variety. They want to be able to pick up any weapon in the game and be able to use it to kill their opponents at it's range as effectively as any other non-Power Weapon. And personally I'm insulted by the choice between using a near useless, worthless weapon or sludging through the same, boring, monotony that people are praising as the pinnacle of gaming.

What I want is simple: When my target completely fills my AR's reticule I want to shred him by a significant margin. Not win by a sliver of health only because he failed to five shot me perfectly at close range. And if the AR is too unskilled, why not make it a skilled weapon? I can roll with the Hammerburst, Lancer, or Retro Lancer, and so long as I use them in their respective ranges, I can kill.
Makes sense. Make every weapon effective at a certain range and not in others, so each weapon has a use.
"Methew" wrote:

"AR vs BR" will always happen in the Halo series so long as they are together in the game. We can't do anything against it. Its a matter of opinion (the actual kind of opinion, not the kind of "opinion" referrenced alot in AL debates on the Reach forum). Its my opinion that the sandbox can only be truely balanced like I described in the OP's, which means that its likely in a close range situation for an AR to win in CQC against a utilitarian weapon.

The AR in itself is controversial. Its best range is that between Short range to Mid range. Its definitely not on AL's level on controversiality, but since its a starting weapon.

I personally have no problem with it since I make my choice at the beginning of the game to find a different weapon for it, and fully know what that choice will bring into a combat scenario versus an AR user.

I guess they'll just have to learn to deal with it. I'm a competitive now (used to be casual competitive), but I see that it is a necessary "evil" for a more balanced game. If I can think that way, others can too. Plus, my AR K/D is pretty low, so they can't just say that I'm an "AR-rusher noob."
"Time Glitch" wrote:
I actually very-much agree with your Tri-Utility model. A faster-firing Pistol to start with that isn't accurate at long range, a BR of sorts with a 3 round burst that's slightly more accurate and slowed only a little from the Pistol, but is useless at longer ranges, and then a slower-firing DMR type weapon that's accurate at longer ranges, but will get dominated at Pistol/BR range because of its firing speed.

Brilliant. We just built Halo 4 XD

That seems like a good basis to build the rest of the sandbox around.

@ OP: You must also factor in skill. The utility weapon should always best, say, an AR since the utility weapon is more skill intensive. If the utility weapon is only just as useful as every other weapon in the sandbox, then it is underpowered because it is just as effective as everything else while requiring more skill.

Also, I think all weapons in the sandbox should require more skill to use at max effectiveness. Why is the AR so easy to use? If the entire sanbox had a large skill gap, perfect weapon balance would be far easier since skill wouldn't be a factor in balancing.
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