Thursday, March 16, 2006

Halo 3 fix wish list

here is my personal wish list of Halo 3 fixes. even though Halo 2 is my favourite game, I can understand why it took plenty of flack from diehard Halo fans. this is what I think bungie can do to expand the Halo franchise and also win back some of the Halo 1 purists.

these aren't meant to be my creative ideas for new features. sure I'd love to fight the covenant on a snowboard, but I'd first like to see the fundamental problems addressed. it isn't the typical microsoft way to update software (i.e. it's not the "code on code" mentality), but bungie isn't a typical microsoft group.

1. go back to a strategic philosophy
I believe that this point is the key to growing the Halo user base and keeping the 133t (read: elite) players. the fact is that Halo 1 (H1) was more strategic than Halo 2 (H2). for example, during an H1 game, a player could check his health and react accordingly. if he had lots of health, he would fight; if he was low on health, he could play a survival strategy until he was able to pick up a health pack. in H2, there are no health packs and the health bar no longer appears in the heads-up display (HUD). this is good news for a newbie, but it's terrible for a seasoned player - the experts knew exactly how long it would take the health packs to reappear and would plan their movement accordingly.

another related issue is the fact that a number of the H2 weapons can be used in the infamous "spray and pray" technique. in other words, the player simply picks up a weapon in each hand and holds down both triggers in the hope that they can spray down an enemy. obviously, fighting with two weapons is a key feature of H2 and there's nothing wrong with the theory. however, in practice, the technique is far too effective. what should be limited to a short range strategy can often win mid-range showdowns. there is nothing more frustrating to an expert than trying to use a precision mid-range weapon against someone who is cutting him up with bullet hoses. it is an issue of weapon balance, but it's also another example of H2 catering to the amateur player.

2. tune down the plasma sword
now... if you want to talk about a pure weapon balance issue, the plasma sword is obviously overpowered. how bungie failed to balance out the sword range during their H2 live update is beyond me. the concept of the sword is cool and all, but man... the range is sick. anyone who plays H2 online knows that there are plenty of 'sword whores' out there just waiting for lockout to come up in the rumble pit playlist rotation. no other weapon can raise the ire of a Halo fan as quickly as the sword.

3. faster still!
I still remember when a friend first showed me the original Halo. the first thing that I did... actually, the first thing was to giggle like a school girl while I used the melee attack to knock down my buddy (thanks dkal :). but right after that... I asked where the run button was. much to my dismay, there was no run button - H1 was way too slow. H2 is faster than H1, and I'd like to see the trend continue. I don't need it unreal tournament fast, but I would like to actually be able to dodge something every once in a while.

of course, extra speed has to be balanced against potential new features that could use the same processing power. ya, ya... I know. but surely there's some juice in the Xbox 360 that can be set aside for the run button.

4. more maps
H2 maps are works of art. that's great and all, but it also means that there aren't enough of them. if bungie were to take a poll, I'm sure that players would be happy to settle for simpler design if it meant that they could have a regular stream of new maps. how about releasing a new map every month?

BTW - what about the H1 maps? many of those maps have not been released for H2. I've read on that they decided that the maps didn't work with the H2 weapons. I find that to be an unacceptable argument. let the gamers decide what weapons they want to use.

5. 90 degree FOV
H2 uses a 70 degree field of view (FOV). but many shooters use a 90 degree FOV. seeing more of the battle field uses more resources, but once again, the move to the Xbox 360 should allow for performance improvements.

6. make vehicles part of the game
the rocket locking feature for vehicles is cool and a lot of fun if you're the one with the launcher, but the end result of this feature is that vehicles are rarely used. perhaps the players in the vehicles could have some warning that a rocket has locked onto their vehicle. combine this with faster bailing out and maybe more players would go for a ride.

I'm sure that bungie has grand plans for H3. however, I hope that they seriously consider fixing the issues with H2 before they spend all of their cycles working on that snowboarding level.


Anonymous said...

sounds like ur a player that isent very good at halo. and i dont think any of your ideas are even close to being good. the only way they they would be good if for u or the person benifiting. i think it should be equal lke it is in halo 2, with the recharging shield. get over it u have bad ideas.

Stephen Cawood said...

anon, your comment doesn't even remotely make sense. the whole point of my first item is that H2 caters to the novice player.

the recharging shield also benefits the novice player. so which is it, am I promoting noob play or are you?

it's hard to take you seriously when you contradict yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ok it seems like you really know what you are talking about and I happen to agree with most of it. The veichles are not fun because some n00b with a rocket launcher locked on to you (which takes no skill what so ever, personally I hate the rocket launcher lock on) and now you are dead. The sword is definetly to powerful. I disagree with the health packs back. I think health that slowly regenerates along with a quickly regenerating shield is the answer. The rest I must say are much needed imporvements. BRING BACK THE PISTOL. It is the only way to take snipers and rocket launching n00bs.

Stephen Cawood said...

thanks for the feedback. I don't think that bringing back the pistol would be a good move, but I appreciate your viewpoint.

it's amazing how many people post comments that don't contain a single rational thought. I guess that's what comes with anonimity
(it reminds me of that penny arcade cartoon about anonymous gamers).

Anonymous said...

Well as a seasoned professional Halo player (both 1 and 2) I do agree that H2 caters to the less skilled players. And the comment about bringing back the scoped pistol, that was just stupid. I mean think realisticly,(which is what Bungie was doing when they change the weapons to be more realistic) would somone who is useing a pistol really be able to snipe a sniper with the pistol. The pistol was a fun god weapon and great for pistol only matches but overall take the fun out for newer players. But back to the tweaks. I agree with all that you are say I really do, but what I feel you left out while talking about giving noobs more of an advantage. They need to try to make the game more about skill as opposed to "hey everyone go get the sword" Thats all the game is about, and even more so in Halo 2. They need to put more skill into it. So that people are encourageed to practice. Which reminds me That they should add a well versed tutorial as well. Alot of games have this integrated into the storyline like a bootcamp of sorts. Not sure how to do it with as far into the storyline they are but I'm sure it could be looked into. Nothing is worse then not playing for months and having to do the campaign over and over. But I have rambled on enough. Have a good one.

Anonymous said...

Halo 1 revolutionized online gameplay with the introduction of the pistol... that was its Trademark feature. That is what sold everyone on the game.

As stated throughout the posts... Halo 2 became a "Spray and pray" type of shooter.. the skill level temedously declined.

Halo 3 should be released with the same type of weapon scheme as Halo 1.. sniper for long range.. pistol for medium, shotgun for short..

whoever said the Halo 1 pistol was too unrealistic... who can survive 3 shots to the head? And to successly perform a three shot kill.. took SKILL and accuracy

i guarantee.. Halo 2 would gaming would rapidly decline if Bungie somehow re-released Halo 1 for Xbox Live compatability.

And for all the "newcomers" to the Halo legacy, that could not adapt to the skillfulness required to use the Halo 1 pistol.. perhaps Bungie should work out, uhhh, i guess you can call it a more intense ranking system

Anonymous said...

Your a retard (above poster)

Pistol sold halo 1? What are you crazy? I must remind you, you have a shield in halo, A pistol shouldnt be MEDIUM RANGE! Its a secondary weapon.

Now the best idea is to make rocket launchers like halo 1, it was perfect. Or Anti- Air