Halo 4 dropped stasis gun to make the game less sci-fi

Jun 13, 2012
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Interesting OP. It makes me a little sad that all AAA games have to have almost zero learning and have to be instantly recognizable to players with zero frustration.

It pretty much ensures that AAA games are going to boring going forward.
 
Jan 13, 2008
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Netherlands
Yeah it seems that scifi wasn't fitting the accessible nature of the game...
Really? You make a huge generalization and say everything is less sci-fi. Either you didn't read the whole article or you just basing this on only the title.

It's annoying to see people go into rage mode, and just going wild and not even taking a minute to read through the op.
 
Mar 9, 2010
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Did any of you guys watch the video? Gun looked awful lol.
It wouldn't feel right into the halo sandbox anyway.

Interesting OP. It makes me a little sad that all AAA games have to have almost zero learning and have to be instantly recognizable to players with zero frustration.

It pretty much ensures that AAA games are going to boring going forward.
I think im reaching the age where nostalgia becomes a bitch kicking me in the groin everytime.
 
Jun 15, 2007
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I thought one of THE main draws about Halo was because it was SciFi. It's what made it stand out and the reason why it's continued to be successful.
 
Apr 8, 2012
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Really? You make a huge generalization and say everything is less sci-fi. Either you didn't read the whole article or you just basing this on only the title.
I don't get what you're missing. Their whole is accessibility. Play tests showed that players didn't like their more scifi weapons because no ease of use. Learning curves and all that shit. Yes, play testers are at fault, but 343s philosophy affected this too.
 
Jan 13, 2008
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I don't get what you're missing. Their whole is accessibility. Play tests showed that players didn't like their more scifi weapons because no ease of use. Learning curves and all that shit. Yes, play testers are at fault, but 343s philosophy affected this too.
Nope, not even used in the original OP. You are conflicting the whole notion of accessibility with weapons not being used. Two separate issues.

That is 343’s fault for not seeing or understanding why people avoided using it or what could have made it better.
 
Apr 8, 2012
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Nope, not even used in the original OP. You are conflicting the whole notion of accessibility with weapons not being used. Two separate issues.

That is 343’s fault for not seeing or understanding why people avoided using it or what could have made it better.

"Unfortunately, the more sci-fi concepts didn't resonate with players. "What we found as we were testing these weapons with players, the really deep sci-fi approach wasn't relatable. As a result, they weren't really gravitating to these weapons."

What am I missing? I am mad at 2 things. 343 not standing by what they feel is right and playtesters pulled straight from Modern shooter games voicing their opinion on scifi.
 
Mar 9, 2010
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"Unfortunately, the more sci-fi concepts didn't resonate with players. "What we found as we were testing these weapons with players, the really deep sci-fi approach wasn't relatable. As a result, they weren't really gravitating to these weapons."

What am I missing? I am mad at 2 things. 343 not standing by what they feel is right and playtesters pulled straight from Modern shooter games voicing their opinion on scifi.
Should have used mlg/pro halo players and a mix of non pro halo players.
 
Dec 26, 2006
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Boltshot - a one-shot kill weapon off spawn; the nerf did not fix this issue
Binary Rifle - a sniper rifle that kills in one shot anywhere on the body
Incineration Cannon - Rocket Launcher on steriods, splash damage is hilariously large
Scattershot - Halo 2 Shotgun spread, apparently by design

Three of these are far too strong and the other is far too inconsistent. The Lightrifle is okay the way it is, perhaps too weak compared to the DMR. Same can be said for the Suppressor. Might not be my optimal close quarters weapon, but it isn't frustrating like those four are.

RIP Plasma Launcher
 
Jan 13, 2008
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"Unfortunately, the more sci-fi concepts didn't resonate with players. "What we found as we were testing these weapons with players, the really deep sci-fi approach wasn't relatable. As a result, they weren't really gravitating to these weapons."

What am I missing? I am mad at 2 things. 343 not standing by what they feel is right and playtesters pulled straight from Modern shooter games voicing their opinion on scifi.
I wasn’t even disagreeing with you. I am just noting that you are pushing two trains of though just to make one point more clearer and sound more harsher, while not looking at the situation and evaluating that. My takeaway is that not the designs of the weapons were problems, but making it clear to the players what they were. There are multiple ways to do it, lets people play with the new weapons only, do Covenant weapons vs new weapons, UNSC weapons vs new weapons etc.

Eh, maybe I’m just tired of everybody going hyperbole and avoiding some reasonable aspects.
 

Deadly Cyclone

Pride of Iowa State
Apr 24, 2008
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Boltshot - a one-shot kill weapon off spawn; the nerf did not fix this issue
Binary Rifle - a sniper rifle that kills in one shot anywhere on the body
Incineration Cannon - Rocket Launcher on steriods, splash damage is hilariously large
Scattershot - Halo 2 Shotgun spread, apparently by design

Three of these are far too strong and the other is far too inconsistent. The Lightrifle is okay the way it is, perhaps too weak compared to the DMR. Same can be said for the Suppressor. Might not be my optimal close quarters weapon, but it isn't frustrating like those four are.

RIP Plasma Launcher
Honestly the only Promethean weapon I have an issue with is the Boltshot. If they'd nerf the charge shot a bit more it'd be fine. I enjoy the binary rifle so long as it's handled like a power weapon and dropped sparingly.

The light rifle is great. Used it quite a bit. I also enjoy the scattershot, but it could use a slight range boost. The human shotgun demolishes it.
 
Feb 13, 2013
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Boltshot - a one-shot kill weapon off spawn; the nerf did not fix this issue
Binary Rifle - a sniper rifle that kills in one shot anywhere on the body
Incineration Cannon - Rocket Launcher on steriods, splash damage is hilariously large
Scattershot - Halo 2 Shotgun spread, apparently by design

Three of these are far too strong and the other is far too inconsistent. The Lightrifle is okay the way it is, perhaps too weak compared to the DMR. Same can be said for the Suppressor. Might not be my optimal close quarters weapon, but it isn't frustrating like those four are.

RIP Plasma Launcher
The Binary Rifle gives off a giant laser sight when scoped in. The only times I've ever been caught by it are usually when I'm in a wide open area, so thats more my fault.

Boltshot - Yeah, I'll give you that one. That's a stupid weapon.

Incineration Cannon - Meh, the only thing that bugs me about it is the splash damage. But honestly that hurts me more than my opponents (I always had a bad habit of using that on enemies too close to me).

Scattershot - Human shotgun's obviously better, but I dunno, I never really had issues with the scattershot. Also, lol, nothing is Halo 2 shotgun bad.
 
Mar 9, 2010
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Honestly the only Promethean weapon I have an issue with is the Boltshot. If they'd nerf the charge shot a bit more it'd be fine. I enjoy the binary rifle so long as it's handled like a power weapon and dropped sparingly.

The light rifle is great. Used it quite a bit. I also enjoy the scattershot, but it could use a slight range boost. The human shotgun demolishes it.
This binary rifle dropped way to much when i played. Should have been a map power weapon .
 
Jan 5, 2009
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"Unfortunately, the more sci-fi concepts didn't resonate with players. "What we found as we were testing these weapons with players, the really deep sci-fi approach wasn't relatable. As a result, they weren't really gravitating to these weapons."

What am I missing? I am mad at 2 things. 343 not standing by what they feel is right and playtesters pulled straight from Modern shooter games voicing their opinion on scifi.
They must have gotten some of the most boring play-testers ever. Stop recruiting CoD and Battlefield players to test games with exotic guns maybe? These guys will probably not like it if it dosen't shoot in a straight line anyway.
 
Jul 4, 2010
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So, between this, the loadouts, the non-cosmetic unlocks, the sprinting, the killcams, and the need to make things familiar to people coming from other series, what 343 is saying is...

"We want the CoD audience."
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
Jun 7, 2009
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TBQH a stasis gun sounds like it'd fuck up the sandbox and core combat pretty hard. No thanks if its in multiplayer, which is likely because I don't see them doing SP-only weapons.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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I see where you're coming from, but they're two separate things. You had your shields, then you're health, which was measured in health bars.

Shields are not what we were talking about when it comes to regenerative health.
I think you're getting tied up in the details of Halo's two-tier health system. Halo undoubtedly popularized recharging health systems. In the context of Halo 1, that meant it was a shield. But the intent behind the design was to ensure players always had a minimum amount of health, which had a major impact on the kind of encounters Bungie could build. It was picked up on pretty quickly by other games, even though they might not have had the shield/health separation.

Health vs. shield is semantics.
 
Nov 8, 2010
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The guy just outlined why I so passionately despised Promethean weapons. Even covenant weapons were better than their reskinned human weapons.

Fuck relatability of a small play test group. This way the developers themselves perpetuate stagnation to play it safe.
Pretty much. The Promethean weapons were nothing more than bad reskins of human weapons, which to be fair, even the Covenant weapon were becoming over the course of the series. (at least partially)

They had so much potential with creative additions to the oh so hallowed "Halo Sandbox" but played it too safe, creating a very boring and homogenous playing field.


I also don't buy the "too much sci-fi" line of reasoning. Good Sci-Fi is alien enough to make people curious, and just familiar enough to learn to relate.

Look at the needler gun. It shoots sharp objects that stick to enemies and explode. A fun alien device, looking a bit like a purple porcupine and is understood after using and experimenting 1 minute with it.
 
Jun 15, 2007
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So, between this, the loadouts, the non-cosmetic unlocks, the sprinting, the killcams, and the need to make things familiar to people coming from other series, what 343 is saying is...

"We want the CoD audience."
Which is a great way of killing your franchise. Turn it into CoD lite. *shakes head* Why would anyone want to play that when they can just play the real thing!? Halo I believe was successful, and stayed successful, because it wasn't CoD and didn't try to be. It was a alternative for those that didn't like modern military shooters. Sure it didn't pull CoD numbers but it didn't need to be. By doing this it's numbers will go down not up.
 
Mar 6, 2012
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I don't think it's been mentioned - that stasis gun is still hidden in the game's code.

It looks unbelievably annoying to deal with in multiplayer when your mobility is the one defense you have in open areas.

(of course, if the reason for cutting it was that it was annoying to deal with, then by that same token the Boltshot, Binary Rifle, and Incineration Cannon shouldn't have made it into the game either)
Oh, I don't think the statis gun as presented is a very good idea. It needed a lot of development work.

But what we ended up with were just derivative copies of existing human weapons.

Heck, there's not even anything as different and interesting as the Sentinel Beam.
 
Oct 6, 2009
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The gun may have been cheap, and not worked properly, but the thing that bugs me is how they cut out multiple "out there" ideas for clones of already existing weapons. I wanted something new and fresh, and instead we got the same old due to focus testing apparently.. I think a healthy blend of predictable and unpredictable weapons would be nice.. Halo 4 just seems to have been gutted to keep the crowd that barely plays the game happy. =/

I have said this before: 343 has individuals are awesome people, and they get Halo. 343 as a studio are frustrating as hell and make a lot of questionable choices.
 
Jan 2, 2010
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I think doing something like making it a grenade would have been cool. Do what Time Shift did as well and have it slow or stop all bullets entering until it goes away and then have all those bullets fly through at once.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Oregon
Oh, I don't think the statis gun as presented is a very good idea. It needed a lot of development work.

But what we ended up with were just derivative copies of existing human weapons.

Heck, there's not even anything as different and interesting as the Sentinel Beam.
Yeah, I think the stasis gun was dropped due to design reasons. He says in the talk that the other Promethean weapons were designed to make them more "relatable", which is how we ended up with new versions of a shotgun, sniper, etc. Really showed a lack of creativity.
 
Dec 28, 2008
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I wasn’t even disagreeing with you. I am just noting that you are pushing two trains of though just to make one point more clearer and sound more harsher, while not looking at the situation and evaluating that. My takeaway is that not the designs of the weapons were problems, but making it clear to the players what they were. There are multiple ways to do it, lets people play with the new weapons only, do Covenant weapons vs new weapons, UNSC weapons vs new weapons etc.

Eh, maybe I’m just tired of everybody going hyperbole and avoiding some reasonable aspects.
One of the main things I like about science fiction is the sense of mystery and the unknown. There isn't a problem with the user not knowing how the gun works the first time they use it, that adds to the unknown and makes the world feel foreign. The only issue then is giving the weapon a visual identity (which is something I think 4 did really well).

The problem with the weapons in Halo 4 isn't that they said "lol modern military, let's make some COD dollars", it's that the weapons they added didn't flesh out the sandbox in any meaningful way. The nice thing about human vs covenant was human weapons hurt flesh, covenant damage shields. It's simple but it means that you can have two weapons fill the same role in terms of range but ultimately have different use cases. Even bungie watered down this design ethic as the games progressed but for the most part, each weapon had a distinguished purpose. The Promethean weapons in 4 (with the exception of the grenades) aren't unique, they're just different flavours of what we already had in the same way that its the minutia that separates two fully automatic weapons in modern military shooters. It's a completely different design mentality to what I really enjoyed about the Halo formula and it's what puts me off 4 on a fundamental level without even going into things like ordinance or the boltshot or whatever.

I don't know if I should attribute it to them saying "let's make the game less sci-fi due to accessibility issues" but it certainly seems like they didn't take advantage of the leeway they have with a setting as broad as Halo's. It feels more like they took the easy way out and made everything aesthetically sci-fi instead of mechanically sci-fi.
 
Jan 13, 2008
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Netherlands
One of the main things I like about science fiction is the sense of mystery and the unknown. There isn't a problem with the user not knowing how the gun works the first time they use it, that adds to the unknown and makes the world feel foreign. The only issue then is giving the weapon a visual identity (which is something I think 4 did really well).

The problem with the weapons in Halo 4 isn't that they said "lol modern military, let's make some COD dollars", it's that the weapons they added didn't flesh out the sandbox in any meaningful way. The nice thing about human vs covenant was human weapons hurt flesh, covenant damage shields. It's simple but it means that you can have two weapons fill the same role in terms of range but ultimately have different use cases. Even bungie watered down this design ethic as the games progressed but for the most part, each weapon had a distinguished purpose. The Promethean weapons in 4 (with the exception of the grenades) aren't unique, they're just different flavours of what we already had in the same way that its the minutia that separates two fully automatic weapons in modern military shooters. It's a completely different design mentality to what I really enjoyed about the Halo formula and it's what puts me off 4 on a fundamental level without even going into things like ordinance or the boltshot or whatever.

I don't know if I should attribute it to them saying "let's make the game less sci-fi due to accessibility issues" but it certainly seems like they didn't take advantage of the leeway they have with a setting as broad as Halo's. It feels more like they took the easy way out and made everything aesthetically sci-fi instead of mechanically sci-fi.
Fantastic post. Agree.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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I don't know if I should attribute it to them saying "let's make the game less sci-fi due to accessibility issues" but it certainly seems like they didn't take advantage of the leeway they have with a setting as broad as Halo's. It feels more like they took the easy way out and made everything aesthetically sci-fi instead of mechanically sci-fi.
Sharp post, and to the bold, that is exactly what they did. In the GDC presentation, Josh said they were struggling to come up with ways to distinguish the Promethean weapons from the standard weapon classes. And that's when they came up with the transforming weapon forms when you first pick them up, to make them more sci-fi. You pick up an alien looking weapon, and it molds itself around your hands....to form a shotgun. They shifted the sci-fi to the aesthetics and kept the conventional functionally of the existing weapons. And were proud to have pulled that off. For a postmortem, there was really a lack of serious reflection.
 

lybertyboy

Thinks the Evil Empire is just misunderstood.
Jun 13, 2007
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The OP mistakenly assumes in the OP that Josh was solely talking about "focus testing" as the reason for cutting the stasis pistol. The "players" that Josh mentioned are mostly internal staffers who provided consistent feedback throughout development of our weapon sandbox.

We talked about this entire process (including the stasis pistol) in an episode of our studio podcast (343 Sparkast) BEFORE Halo 4 shipped. Also to fully understand how we User Research works at Microsoft, I recommend the feature Matt Leonne did at Polygon.

From my recollection, the stasis pistol was cut because it was more frustrating than fun. Imagine an entire team using these to continually bubble you in place. The team felt that valuable production time was better spent working on the rest of the sandbox than spending more time on a weapon that likely would've become our Armor Lock. That's not to say it couldn't have become a worthwhile addition, there simply wasn't enough time to take that particular road.

We certainly could've done a better balancing job on some weapons (see Boltshot) but we're continuing to work on making the game a better experience post-launch than day one. And that's pretty much all I'm going to say. But by all means, don't let me stop you from working out your internal issues by attacking people personally.
 
Oct 6, 2009
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The OP mistakenly assumes in the OP that Josh was solely talking about "focus testing" as the reason for cutting the stasis pistol. The "players" that Josh mentioned are mostly internal staffers who provided consistent feedback throughout development of our weapon sandbox.

We talked about this entire process (including the stasis pistol) in an episode of our studio podcast (343 Sparkast) BEFORE Halo 4 shipped. Also to fully understand how we User Research works at Microsoft, I recommend the feature Matt Leonne did at Polygon.

From my recollection, the stasis pistol was cut because it was more frustrating than fun. Imagine an entire team using these to continually bubble you in place. The team felt that valuable production time was better spent working on the rest of the sandbox than spending more time on a weapon that likely would've become our Armor Lock. That's not to say it couldn't have become a worthwhile addition, there simply wasn't enough time to take that particular road.

We certainly could've done a better balancing job on some weapons (see Boltshot) but we're continuing to work on making the game a better experience post-launch than day one. And that's pretty much all I'm going to say. But by all means, don't let me stop you from working out your internal issues by attacking people personally.
I do understand its not as cut and dry as the OP makes it sound, and that there are likely a multitude of good reasons why the weapon is cut. For me I am bummed that the Promethean/Forerunner sandbox is just so..predictable. I was hoping for some very unique weapons to diversify the sandbox and bring in completely new experiences. I'm fine with some weapons fitting into the mold of the shotgun, etc. but I was hoping for some others to feel different.. much like the Needler was something different, although I was hoping for something more unique than that.

If the more out there ideas became overpowered, perhaps turning them into a 'support' weapon, such as something like a slow firing detachable turret may have worked? I know its not that simple, but I do hope the creative boundaries are pushed and expanded upon in Halo 5.
 
Mar 6, 2012
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We talked about this entire process (including the stasis pistol) in an episode of our studio podcast (343 Sparkast) BEFORE Halo 4 shipped.
I listened to that Podcast with dismay.

It really felt like 343 had panicked, and decided to clone the human weapons with slightly different balance because they were running out of time.

A lot of Halo 4 felt like 343 had commissioned a lot of ideas and in a similar panic picked the one that gelled the least with the existing background and aesthetic to be honest. The Promethians were another example - probably the worst design of all the concepts was selected, giving aliens that were dull and didn't fit anything else we knew about the Forerunners.

Having three different weapon sets that largely replicated each other was also a mistake. Honestly, reskinning the Covenant weapons as Forerunner with some tweaks and interesting additions would have made more sense than what happened.
 

LunaticPuma

dresses business casual
Jan 12, 2007
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-snip-

But by all means, don't let me stop you from working out your internal issues by attacking people personally.
The Halo series is extremely personal for many of the long time fans. When 343 was given the keys to the kingdom, it was unknown how well they would take care of it. Sadly, things have not turned out as many would have hoped.

Previous posts suggest that 343 has passionate people that get Halo. I agree they have passionate people. However, I have seen little evidence that they get Halo. Halo 4 doesn't deserve to have Halo in its name. It should just be called Infinity 4 or BLOPs 4 Future Warfare.
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
Jun 7, 2009
78,143
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One of the main things I like about science fiction is the sense of mystery and the unknown. There isn't a problem with the user not knowing how the gun works the first time they use it, that adds to the unknown and makes the world feel foreign. The only issue then is giving the weapon a visual identity (which is something I think 4 did really well).

The problem with the weapons in Halo 4 isn't that they said "lol modern military, let's make some COD dollars", it's that the weapons they added didn't flesh out the sandbox in any meaningful way. The nice thing about human vs covenant was human weapons hurt flesh, covenant damage shields. It's simple but it means that you can have two weapons fill the same role in terms of range but ultimately have different use cases. Even bungie watered down this design ethic as the games progressed but for the most part, each weapon had a distinguished purpose. The Promethean weapons in 4 (with the exception of the grenades) aren't unique, they're just different flavours of what we already had in the same way that its the minutia that separates two fully automatic weapons in modern military shooters. It's a completely different design mentality to what I really enjoyed about the Halo formula and it's what puts me off 4 on a fundamental level without even going into things like ordinance or the boltshot or whatever.

I don't know if I should attribute it to them saying "let's make the game less sci-fi due to accessibility issues" but it certainly seems like they didn't take advantage of the leeway they have with a setting as broad as Halo's. It feels more like they took the easy way out and made everything aesthetically sci-fi instead of mechanically sci-fi.
Good post. TBH the shields/health thing was only really important in Halo 1 and diverged quite quickly afterwards, but in team multiplayer it still had influence.

The OP mistakenly assumes in the OP that Josh was solely talking about "focus testing" as the reason for cutting the stasis pistol. The "players" that Josh mentioned are mostly internal staffers who provided consistent feedback throughout development of our weapon sandbox.

We talked about this entire process (including the stasis pistol) in an episode of our studio podcast (343 Sparkast) BEFORE Halo 4 shipped. Also to fully understand how we User Research works at Microsoft, I recommend the feature Matt Leonne did at Polygon.

From my recollection, the stasis pistol was cut because it was more frustrating than fun. Imagine an entire team using these to continually bubble you in place. The team felt that valuable production time was better spent working on the rest of the sandbox than spending more time on a weapon that likely would've become our Armor Lock. That's not to say it couldn't have become a worthwhile addition, there simply wasn't enough time to take that particular road.

We certainly could've done a better balancing job on some weapons (see Boltshot) but we're continuing to work on making the game a better experience post-launch than day one. And that's pretty much all I'm going to say. But by all means, don't let me stop you from working out your internal issues by attacking people personally.
Also a good post.

I actually can't fathom how you'd make a stasis gun that doesn't screw up core tenants of mobility and instantly become something that is of utmost importance in objective gametypes.

I see the discussion in this thread has turned towards more of a dissection of the weapon sandbox in Halo 4, but I kinda feel the Promethean portion of the sandbox being the way it is a function of time constraints. I just hope moving forward, what has already been established does not stop the potential for shakeups and reconstruction of that third of the sandbox to stand on its own rather than being companions to the existing sandbox. That's kind of how I feel about the multiplayer and game at large though; much of what is there needs to be replaced or looked at from another perspective rather than iterated or mended.

EDIT: Let's not forget that the Covenant weaponry has morphed to become counterparts of the UNSC weaponry over time too, quite explicitly so. I just want more differentiation in general. More Focus Rifles, Swords and Needlers, less Carbines and Plasma Repeaters. The entire sandbox needs a mild shake up really, and I feel 343 did half the job.
 
Feb 13, 2009
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From my recollection, the stasis pistol was cut because it was more frustrating than fun. Imagine an entire team using these to continually bubble you in place. The team felt that valuable production time was better spent working on the rest of the sandbox than spending more time on a weapon that likely would've become our Armor Lock. That's not to say it couldn't have become a worthwhile addition, there simply wasn't enough time to take that particular road.
Leave it in campaign but don't put in in multiplayer. I just solved your problem, took less than 1 minute.
 
Dec 28, 2008
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I get the feeling Halo 4 was rushed, it would certainly explain why so many corners were cut with the gameplay.
I don't think Halo 4 felt all that rushed. The production values and polish on what was actually produced is incredibly high. To me, it feels like a game that was designed narrative/lore/franchise first and the the design team had to fit the game part around it.
 
Jul 27, 2007
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IMO forerunner guns were a giant wasted opportunity, but even worse it was laughable. When I discovered that the weapons of this unfathomable, ancient galactic civilization is equivalent to shotgun, carbine, pistol, etc, and i can get them from A FORERUNNER GUN RACK I just started cracking up. Why not make them feel alien? Give them different functions at least. Reskinned human weapons for your new race is an awful design decision imo.
 
Feb 13, 2013
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I think Halo 4 is a pretty good example off how to poorly transition a franchise between developers, the was what seemed to be a tonne of passion behind it but it feels like they didn't know if they wanted to stay true to what Bungie made or create their own unique thing and they probably failed on both fronts. I wonder if we'll ever find out what Ryan Payton's original vision for 4 was.
It probably would have involved Promethean Knights in some form. We know that 343 Industries utilized a lot of core ideas for Halo 4 that Bungie was going with before they decided to go with Reach as their final project, namely the nature of Requiem and Forerunner forces being a primary antagonist. Other than that, who knows.

The Didact could have been written so much better, and so easily. The Promethean Knights could have been so much better designed.



This is a concept for a Promethean done by Isaac Hannaford. I believe it was done as something for Halo 3 (at least, it's listed under cut Halo 3 material on Hannaford's site). It's not unique, but I prefer it greatly to the ungainly crab robots we got in Halo 4 proper.
 

Cerrius

You like me, you really really like me!
Oct 29, 2004
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The Halo series is like a TV show that's already had it's run but is still trying to hang on. Kill the thing already and put it out of it's misery.

It saddens me to see one of my favorite series continue to decay like this. Microsoft will keep going until that money well is sucked up and dry though I suppose.
 
Oct 6, 2010
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The OP mistakenly assumes in the OP that Josh was solely talking about "focus testing" as the reason for cutting the stasis pistol. The "players" that Josh mentioned are mostly internal staffers who provided consistent feedback throughout development of our weapon sandbox.

We talked about this entire process (including the stasis pistol) in an episode of our studio podcast (343 Sparkast) BEFORE Halo 4 shipped. Also to fully understand how we User Research works at Microsoft, I recommend the feature Matt Leonne did at Polygon.

From my recollection, the stasis pistol was cut because it was more frustrating than fun. Imagine an entire team using these to continually bubble you in place. The team felt that valuable production time was better spent working on the rest of the sandbox than spending more time on a weapon that likely would've become our Armor Lock. That's not to say it couldn't have become a worthwhile addition, there simply wasn't enough time to take that particular road.

We certainly could've done a better balancing job on some weapons (see Boltshot) but we're continuing to work on making the game a better experience post-launch than day one. And that's pretty much all I'm going to say. But by all means, don't let me stop you from working out your internal issues by attacking people personally.
Great post and lol at the last line. Really goes too far when it comes to personal attacks.

Leave it in campaign but don't put in in multiplayer. I just solved your problem, took less than 1 minute.
That's not a very efficient use of your time and manpower.
 
Apr 15, 2011
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The OP mistakenly assumes in the OP that Josh was solely talking about "focus testing" as the reason for cutting the stasis pistol. The "players" that Josh mentioned are mostly internal staffers who provided consistent feedback throughout development of our weapon sandbox.

We talked about this entire process (including the stasis pistol) in an episode of our studio podcast (343 Sparkast) BEFORE Halo 4 shipped. Also to fully understand how we User Research works at Microsoft, I recommend the feature Matt Leonne did at Polygon.

From my recollection, the stasis pistol was cut because it was more frustrating than fun. Imagine an entire team using these to continually bubble you in place. The team felt that valuable production time was better spent working on the rest of the sandbox than spending more time on a weapon that likely would've become our Armor Lock. That's not to say it couldn't have become a worthwhile addition, there simply wasn't enough time to take that particular road.

We certainly could've done a better balancing job on some weapons (see Boltshot) but we're continuing to work on making the game a better experience post-launch than day one. And that's pretty much all I'm going to say. But by all means, don't let me stop you from working out your internal issues by attacking people personally.
I really wish they stressed that the weapon just didn't work out, unless this is just selective reporting or copy/pasting in the OP. Maybe the presenter had his own beef or a sort of skewed view on "Sci-fi" ("sci-fi means it's out there and a convoluted pain to use!"), but it gives the impression that anything out of a very narrow comfort zone was unacceptable, when the reality appears to be that it was just a half baked idea that needed a lot of work to be something people would want to use, and perhaps wasn't fitting in a game like this unlike, say, a tower defense.
 
Aug 8, 2012
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Artistically I thought the design of the Promethean knights was fine on an individual basis. Their look was alien and distinct. Plus I like that they sort of mirrored the forerunner architecture.

My problem was that it hard to distinguish between different classes of them in gameplay. Look at this -



And compare it to something like the Elites in Reach -



All the Elites look like they are the same species yet one quick glance in combat is enough to distinguish one "rank" from another. Whereas the PKs might as well be the same enemy going through different transformation. So their AI patterns get muddled up. When you are fighting them, you have no idea which ones are gonna use what kind of weapons and tactics.