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Social Opinion Game Dev Halo Infinite ‘was designed for Normal difficulty’ for the first time, says 343 - Campaign co-op and Forge mode suffer further delays

IbizaPocholo

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In an interview with the media held this week, character director Stephen Dyck explained that Infinite will be the first game in the series where the Normal difficulty is the main focus and is then scaled up to harder difficulties, rather than the other way round.

“Traditionally, Halo’s always been developed on the Heroic difficulty, and we did the same thing for 4 and 5,” he explained.

“So usually we look at Heroic, we’re tuning everything here, everything is scaled down a little bit for Normal and Easy and then scaled up a little bit for Legendary. This time, we spent much more time on the Normal difficulty, expecting new players to come in.

“That doesn’t mean that Heroic isn’t hard and that Legendary isn’t very punishing, those are things that are still just part of Halo, but we did spend more time on Normal difficulty from the standpoint of, ‘what if you were a new player and you’d never fought the covenant before or you’ve never fought anything in Halo before and it’s your first time using an AR?’

“We want those players to have fun and success and not immediately be hit with a wall from a gameplay standpoint where they’re like, ‘aw man, I haven’t played this, I don’t get it… am I supposed to use a specific damage type here?’ Or, ‘that grenade didn’t do anything, why didn’t it do anything?’

“So one of the philosophies we’ve had is, the player’s always right or the game says ‘yes’. If the player wants to use something or a certain type of weapon, while certain weapons will be more successful, we’re never going to say, ‘you’re just wrong, you can’t do that’.

“That’s where I’d say from a gameplay standpoint our philosophy was a little bit different, we were just kind of like – come in, play, we’ll ease into things, we’ll tutorialise things for you especially with the addition of things like equipment and things like that. So ideally, the player has a smoother ramp into the Halo world of gameplay.”

Associate creative director Paul Crocker added that the game has an unspoken ‘golden path’ that players should generally follow to progress throughout the game, and that stepping outside of that path can lead to optional, more challenging moments.

“The golden path is very curated by us,” Crocker explained. “The further away from the golden path you travel, you’ll hit difficulty spikes which are challenges to return to if you fail when you first encounter them.

“As you engage with equipment upgrades, as you capture more FOBs, as you bring marines, you can bring help with you for those encounters.

“Anecdotally, some of the people on the team actually found Normal difficulty a bit harder because it was more open and more 360 degrees of combat, whereas players who play a lot of other titles were finding it very easy, so the balance was making sure it was inviting to all players on Normal difficulty, then a guarantee that if you bump up the difficulty, it gets more challenging.”

The game’s campaign art lead Justin Dinges told us that the decision was made as a result of newcomers struggling to get into a series that assumed a lot of prior knowledge. “We got a lot of feedback on 5 that there was a high price of entry into that game of knowing things,” he said.

“So we wanted to make the price of entry into the franchise more available to people, so they didn’t feel that they had to [know things]. That doesn’t mean all that information isn’t there… hopefully, it just doesn’t require you to know that stuff.”


And in a new interview with Eurogamer, Staten confirmed that the delayed release of Season 2 and Season 3 mean campaign co-op and Forge have been pushed back too.

“At the time that we talked about campaign co-op and Forge I said our goal is to ship campaign co-op in Season 2 and our goal is to ship Forge with Season 3,” he said.

“Yes, we are extending Season 1. So our goal still remains what I said before, which is to ship campaign co-op with Season 2 and Forge with Season 3. But those remain goals. Those remain targets. And we can’t commit to any hard dates right now, because as we’re seeing with this multiplayer beta, other things might move up in the priority stack for us.

“If it turns out that our progression system just isn’t working the way that we intended, if we need to move some of these bigger rocks sooner, then we as a team will make those decisions and will clearly communicate to our fans why we’re why we’re doing certain things.”

Staten added: “It’s going to be a constant challenge to address some of those bigger rocks that I know players have completely legitimate feedback about. But we’ve got a couple big things that we still have to deliver to fans: campaign co-op and our Forge toolset are really big promises that we’ve made that we need to make good on.”
 

Drizzlehell

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Dec 24, 2020
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At first I thought it said that the campaign got delayed and we won't be able to play it in December and I was about to go Tommy Wiseau on my room

 

MonarchJT

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My biggest gripe is not having a campaign co-op. Even after a year delay they still couldn't manage this.
for the better . In all honesty we should stop to expect stellar halo Multiplayer with multiple maps and multiple game mode .. polished and epic campaign ... great co Op .. forge innovative ..... all at launch

No game has this enormous weight on his shoulders ..... and in my opinion they are right to divide the output into several parts.
 
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LazyParrot

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I really wonder what state the game would have released in if people hadn’t complained about the graphics after the campaign preview last year. They were 6 months from a full release back then, now they’ve had an extra year and they’re still releasing it in pieces.
 

Panajev2001a

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I am waiting for the 'get gud' crowd or the complaining about gamepass changing game design crowd.
The Donald Rumsfeld like push here to preempt is odd, but sure… you are telling me that a subscription service designed to encourage more casual gamers to sample more games more often and a title being designed to be a live service that tunes its difficulty to allow more casual players to play and be engaged first and foremost are unrelated… that would sound disingenuous, but I am jaded I guess :p.
 
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Lone Wolf

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Disappointed that co-op is delayed even further. I always play through solo on Heroic first, but co-op is something I visit soon after. I also hope they have plans for Firefight, I loved that mode in Halo 5.
 
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SenjutsuSage

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Wonder how many will interpret this the wrong way, intentionally while knowing better. The normal difficulty is more difficult from all prior Halo games. Enemies are more aggressive, flank more often, try to surround you more often. And then Heroic and Legendary are even tougher. The previews pretty much spell this out.

As to co-op delay. Hasn't 343 demonstrated so far that if they get the time they need to get it right, they deliver an amazing package? Ya, delay co-op till its ready.
 
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Jaysen

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My biggest gripe is not having a campaign co-op. Even after a year delay they still couldn't manage this.
Yep, its an awful omission. What the hell were they going to release last year? I hope someone writes a book or long form article about this games development. And I hope it includes a chapter about Frank getting banned for life from ERA lol.
 

DenchDeckard

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I bet it can't do co op. Can you imagine being able to go wherever you want how is it going to work. How does far cry 6 do it?
 

LordCBH

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Bruh……campaign co-op delayed again? Tell me the game isn’t ready for release this year without telling me it isn’t ready for release this year. The campaign will be fun as hell I think, but it’s kinda unacceptable to not launch with co-op considering the response to 5 completely botching it’s implementation of co-op
 
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Bernkastel

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The Donald Rumsfeld like push here to preempt is odd, but sure… you are telling me that a subscription service designed to encourage more casual gamers to sample more games more often and a title being designed to be a live service that tunes its difficulty to allow more casual players to play and be engaged first and foremost are unrelated… that would sound disingenuous, but I am jaded I guess :p.
You are the only one telling that to yourself.
I remember when the game was already dead according to you and all talent at 343i will leave.
But he left...is the job better now where he's at? He grew tired of Halo/his job there. But why? Hmmm
Let them buy all the companies they want. They can buy companies. They can own IPs. The talent that makes those games be worth shit they can't force to stay working for them. Why isn't Bungie devs still with them? Sure they opened their checkbooks and offered crowns and thrones. Ooh that's right. There are some things money can't buy.
Not my whims. How is that 343 doing huh? Lmao
Still tightly holding on to that hope right?
 

Nemesis Prime

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Feb 15, 2018
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Wonder how many will interpret this the wrong way, intentionally while knowing better. The normal difficulty is more difficult from all prior Halo games. Enemies are more aggressive, flank more often, try to surround you more often. And then Heroic and Legendary are even tougher. The previews pretty much spell this out.

As to co-op delay. Hasn't 343 demonstrated so far that if they get the time they need to get it right, they deliver an amazing package? Ya, delay co-op till its ready.
I might play this game on heroic tbh, and revisit it later for legendary. I hope they have New Game +

I’ve finished every halo game on legendary, I wouldn’t suggest it for any first time play through of a game
 

Negotiator101

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I really wonder what state the game would have released in if people hadn’t complained about the graphics after the campaign preview last year. They were 6 months from a full release back then, now they’ve had an extra year and they’re still releasing it in pieces.
How is it being released in pieces? You have MP (which is out now in Beta). And you have a full SP campaign out on the 8th December. Most games only manage a SP campaign, so you must be referring to a game mode? The whole game MP and Campaign are releasing together from the 8th December not "in pieces" as you put it. 🙄
 
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Dick Jones

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What did he do to get the axe there? Sneeze?
Made a number of separate stereotypical jokes about Chinese people that actually led the the Asian Summit where the mods claimed afterwards everything was sorted and the Asian posters called bollix on that and fucked off.
 

Punished Miku

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Delay is fine. Just put it out when its actually good. The multiplayer launch proved that. GTA Remaster is an example of the alternative option.
 
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LazyParrot

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How is it being released in pieces? You have MP (which is out now in Beta). And you have a full SP campaign out on the 8th December. Most games only manage a SP campaign, so you must be referring to a game mode? The whole game MP and Campaign are releasing together from the 8th December not "in pieces" as you put it. 🙄
I'm hardly a Halo expert, but didn't previous entries in the series ship complete with single player, campaign coop, pvp multiplayer and Forge on launch day?

This game has the multiplayer launching in November (yes, it's technically a beta, but progress carries over into the final release, so there's effectively zero difference), the single player campaign in December, coop in Season 2 and Forge in Season 3. How is that not releasing the game in pieces?
 

Bar81

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My biggest gripe is not having a campaign co-op. Even after a year delay they still couldn't manage this.
That's what happens when you fubar development and then have to meet a management deadline - game gets released unfinished. As is, they're releasing a couple of weeks before Christmas - that's a trainwreck in terms of holiday sales since there's not much holiday left at that point.
 
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Negotiator101

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I'm hardly a Halo expert, but didn't previous entries in the series ship complete with single player, campaign coop, pvp multiplayer and Forge on launch day?

This game has the multiplayer launching in November (yes, it's technically a beta, but progress carries over into the final release, so there's effectively zero difference), the single player campaign in December, coop in Season 2 and Forge in Season 3. How is that not releasing the game in pieces?
Those are game modes, can you not differentiate between a game and its added features? Let's say a MP only game releases with 12 maps and 6 game modes, 12 months later it has 20 maps and 10 game modes. Was the game not complete when it launched? The added content is great but the game was still complete at launch. Same thing here, you have a complete game at launch but added content to come 😉
 

Leyasu

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Extending season 1 because the team making the content aren't making it. Team working on the coop are obviously behind and I get the feeling that we won't be getting much more MP wise come Dec 8. I'm loving this so far, and I have enjoyed every 343 Halo, but it is clear rhat their project management is abysmal.

If I was Phil I would sack the executive team once this game has shipped
 
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