Halo |OT13|

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I liked Gears 3's mp a lot, but the map packs weren't that special IMO. Still, that game looks a shit ton better than Judgment.. uninspired SP, no DBNO in MP, no Locusts in MP, etc. Some of the changes seemed nice, but now it just looks like a mess and ultimately doesn't seem like a positive move for the series.

Man 343 should hire those who worked on Killzone 2's enemy feedback system to help fix the Prometheans for Halo 5. Playing the games again right now, and boy are the Helghast fun to shoot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIuI3ctJTJM
That would be nice, more feedback both via animation and visual appearance would be really nice. The Prometheans just never hit the high note of the Covenant, and Im kind of tired of the Covies also.. so..its a lose lose situation now.



Wreckage.

In slayer it plays a lot like Swordbase with people holding the top hill and making use of the ample cover, then picking off fools thinking they can get the jump on you through the man cannons.

In CTF, despite what you'd think, it actually plays really well, the choice of routes between the bases (which are actually quite close together) give some nice variety to tactics.

My initial impressions were that it was poop, now I'm upgrading it to so-so.

Still not sure about Shatter either, great for Extraction. Bad for Dominion. Not great for Slayer. I don't really feel like it needs the teleporters..
I like Wreckage a lot.. its the only one I have fun on from the new maps.

Was looking up some Halo facts and stuff earlier and came across that:
  • Halo 2 Development team - 60
  • Halo 3 Development team - 120
  • Halo Reach Development team - ???
  • Halo 4 Development team - 300? + Certain Affinity + Digital Extremes + Axis

Now I want to watch the Making of Halo 2 and O Brave New World.



Yea I know, started making my Halo 5 wishlist:/
Yeah, I think Halo 4 suffered from so many different devs being involved.. I wish 343 would have handled more in house and just delayed the game honestly.

Here's the second excerpt. This one isn't as complete as the one I posted before. I've got some more work to do, but here it is.

A Shaky Marriage
How levels behave with each other and with the story.

This particular criticism isn’t unique to Halo 4. To be fair, Halo games have implemented the now classic "rising action, climax, falling action" structure to varying levels of success, depending on your opinion of the levels themselves. However, except for one game in the series, a Halo game’s story climax has never correlated to its gameplay climax. Below I’ve broken down four Halo games based on this structure along with their story climaxes. Not listed are Halo 2 and ODST because their structure is different form the one the majority of Halo games employ.

For clarity’s sake, here is how I define the following:
- Gameplay climax: The overall size of the level’s encounters in comparison to all other levels, and the trend of the game’s encounter sizes before and after the level. That is, the noticeable expansion of encounter sizes before the level versus their noticeable shrinkage afterwards.
- Story climax: The point in the story that affects/changes everything that follows.

Halo: CE
a. Rising action: "The Pillar of Autumn (CE)" to "The Silent Cartographer"
b. Gameplay climax: "Assault on the Control Room"
c. Story climax: The reveal of the Flood in "343 Guilty Spark"
d. Falling action: "343 Guilty Spark" to "The Maw"

Halo 3
a. Rising action: "Sierra 117" to "The Ark"
b. Gameplay climax: "The Covenant" and more specifically, the battle outside the Citadel
c. Story climax: The defeat of the Covenant and the death of Truth in "The Covenant"
d. Falling action: "Cortana" and "Halo (3)"

Halo: Reach
a. Rising action: "Winter Contingency" to "Nightfall"
b. Gameplay climax: "Tip of the Spear"
c. Story climax: When the Covenant supercarrier is destroyed and the Covenant arrive en masse to invade Reach in "Long Night of Solace"
d. Falling action: "Long Night of Solace" to "The Pillar of Autumn (Reach)"

Halo 4
a. Rising action: "Dawn" to "Infinity"
b. Gameplay climax: "Reclaimer"
c. Story climax:
This one was hard to pin down, but if I had to name one it’d be the "fight" with the Didact in "Midnight." That or when he gets released from his cryptum.
d. Falling action: "Shutdown" to "Midnight"

As one can see, the game that best weaves its story climax with its gameplay climax is unquestionably Halo 3.

Now, this all isn’t to say that I don’t like where the story climaxes are in past Halo games. The reveal of the Flood in “343 Guilty Spark” is one my favorite moments in the series. However, there’s a certain cadence that really adds to the game when, as the narrative increases in scope and risk, the gameplay grows and evolves to reflect that.

"The Covenant" is without a doubt one of the largest Halo levels, but Halo 3 meshes story and gameplay so well, everything can be narrowed down to a single encounter....

As the player exits a gate into a wintered path, the title card reads "Journey’s End." A few moments later you exit a short, icy cavern, and round the corner of a cliff to behold the Citadel and the huge snowy-icy field in front of it. Everything tells you that this moment is undoubtedly the culmination of all that has preceded it. The in-game dialogue: "Citadel in sight! Brutes are mobilizing everything they got." This is the Covenant’s final stand, and with its defenses gone, the death of Truth and the elimination of the threat the Halo arrays pose. Right after that, the music kicks in. You heard it before, relatively muted and in smaller snippets in previous levels, but here Marty’s stylized version of the iconic Halo theme bombastically plays through to its completion. Once the player destroys the Brutes’ defenses surrounding the Citadel and descends into the field, two Scarabs drop from orbit, kicking up dirt and snow as they land hard, and each complemented with its own Brute pack. The Covenant marshals air and ground forces with Banshees, Ghosts, and Prowlers. A Pelican arrives, and your surviving AI counterparts rally around you in anything from a mongoose with rockets to tanks and hornets. It is thematically, conspicuously, and most appropriately the largest encounter in Halo 3, and in the series to date.

Halo 4
has you fighting Knights, Crawlers, and Watchers on Forerunner platforms while the Didact floats in the center and says stuff to you. And it all ends in a QTE fight. After I was done I remember thinking to myself, "Is that it?"
Needless to say, it’s comparatively anticlimatic.

To be perfectly clear, I am not praising the story in Halo 3. It’s bad; especially compared to the marvelous one told in Halo 2. Truth was made into a two-dimensional villain and the Arbiter was sidelined. What I am praising, however, is Halo 3’s unrivaled weaving – within the context of the Halo series – of story and gameplay.
Amazing post.

I wish more the rest of the Halo games would take more notes from Halo 2 and ODST for story and CE and 3 for level and encounter design.

It's sad that in the following Halo games we never got any encounters even close to the scale of Halo 3's. Scarab battles were some of the most enjoyable moments in the Halo 3's campaign. The amount of different ways you can approach the encounter with the 2 Scarab's towards the end of The Covenant is pretty amazing. Depending on what kind of vehicle you're using the encounter can play out entirely different.

Warthog/Mongoose:
  • Get a marine with a Rocket Launcher/FRG in the sideseat and face either Scarab head-on until it's temporarily disabled and you can board it.
  • Launch yourself off one of the ramps and try to jump on top of the Scarabs.

Scorpion/Wraith:
  • Shoot the legs of a Scarab until it's temporarily disabled, board it, fight off the enemies and destroy the core.
  • Shoot the legs until it's temporarily disabled, shoot down the cover in the back and destroy the core while still in the Scorpion.

Hornet:
  • Pilot the aircraft yourself, fly over to the Scarab, land on it and fight your way through the enemies.
  • Pilot the aircraft yourself, fly to the back of a Scarab and try to shoot off the cover in the back, giving you a perfect shot at its core.
  • Get on one the side 'seats' of the Hornet and let a marine fly you over to the Scarab. They will hover above one of them until you drop down onto it. They will even pick you up once you've destroyed the core of the Scarab.



I'm surely forgetting several ways in which you can approach it differently, but it still shows how people can experience it in a variety of ways. All this while being shot by two Scarabs, some of the enemies on the Scarabs, several Prowlers and half a dozen Ghosts.

I don't understand why Bungie went away from Scarabs when they were such a success in Halo 3. ODST started out with this trend by only making us fight it once during the entire campaign. Plus, that one encounter was incredibly limited when you compare it to the ones in Halo 3. The Scarab had no room to move around so it only spun around in circles and the only vehicle you had to your disposal was the Banshee so there wasn't much room for creativity. The only other team where you see a Scarab is during the final segment of the game and you don't even get to fight it. It fires its beam at the Elephant and just walks off. The Reach Scarabs are even more limited and only show up in cutscenes, as decoration in the distance (which I doubt 90% of the people even saw) or as walking platforms for Grunts to shoot their turrets from.

It was understandable for ODST to not have huge encounters mainly because the of the limited development time and resources but Halo Reach doesn't really have that excuse. The campaign takes place on the planet with the biggest military fortress of all the human colonies, yet we see nothing of that. From what we've seen it seems like Forward Unto Dawn itself carries more firepower in Halo 3 than the entire planet Reach does in Halo Reach. Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure we only see a single Scorpion Tank during the entire Reach campaign and we only use it to kill some turrets, Ghosts and Revenants during the span of 10 to 15 minutes. Compare that to the four Scorpions during the Halo 3 campaign which you use for an extended period of time against Scarabs, Wraiths, Ghosts, Prowlers, Choppers and a shitload of infantry. You can get a fairly good idea of the difference in scale between the two games.



The Halo 4 arrives and while some of the environments are huge in scale there's never really a big and versatile encounter anywhere in the game. The Pelican level is huge but all you can is a bunch of a bunch of stationary Phantoms from a mile away. The Star Wars level was enormous but you did nothing except fly past a bunch of turrets and shoot four lightbulbs. 343 did try to replicate a Scarab battle, though. Pretty much in the literal sense of the word because the Lych is very much like a re-skinned version of the Scarab. Sounds great, right? Yeah, it would be had 343 not removed everything about what made Scarab battles fun. The aircraft didn't move, it didn't shoot and was only accessible in two ways: either go up the lift or jetpack up to it. It was essentially another piece of geometry which had flown into the level pretending to be a Scarab. The most offensive part of the Lych is that when you destroy its core it drifts off until it's right above the canyon close by and completely evaporates. I wouldn't call it an explosions. It was just *poof* and the aircraft was gone. No satisfying explosion, no huge chunks of the it still laying around the map, no sense of danger of you getting killed if you don't get away fast enough. Just a boring, underwhelming, scripted poof.

I can't say too much about Spartan Ops as I've only played the first two episodes after selling the game, but it does seem to give us encounters on a bigger scale. It looks like they're just throwing a shitload of enemies at you without much thought behind it, though. I think that's the biggest issue with Spartan Ops encounters. The levels don't seem to be designed around a single really good encounter. Either they're designed around campaign, they're designed around multiplayer, or they're designed around a number of encounters so they can be reused down the line. They're just throwing a bunch of enemies into an environment for the sake of giving players a hard time regardless of whether the encounter has any depth or not.

Hopefully 343 will up their game in Halo 5 in terms of scale of the encounters and just the encounter design in general. I want to fight an "evolved" version of the Scarab. I want to be able to approach in a varying ways. I want to see this:

Yup, its depressing how Reach and especially Halo 4 never came close to anything like this.. I really wish they would have striven for more with Halo 4.

Halo 3 also had some great on-foot encounters. A few examples:





(The fact that you can choose to fight the Chieftain in a 1v1 alone makes this one of the best moments of all Halos)

Shoutout to AscendantJustice.com for their great Hindsight: Halo 3 series.
Once again, I agree completely.
 
Ok after looking at it side by side I think its clear the waypoint site is designed to be used on a touch screen. Maybe they're just thinking ahead, maybe microsoft told them to do it this way since they're pushing the touch friendly Windows 8 design.

I felt the same way about the Halo 4 menus. Felt like they were made for Kinect or some shit with the huge buttons.

http://www.bungie.net/stats/reach/default.aspx

https://app.halowaypoint.com/en-us/Halo4/Tawpgun/home/

With Bnet everything is presented clearly with labeled links.

With Waypoint you gotta find the in webpage scroll bars (which are tiny) and scroll in each little window, hover over shit to get the info of what it is (left side of page) or hit the arrows to reveal the right side of the page.
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
Ok after looking at it side by side I think its clear the waypoint site is designed to be used on a touch screen. Maybe they're just thinking ahead, maybe microsoft told them to do it this way since they're pushing the touch friendly Windows 8 design.

I felt the same way about the Halo 4 menus. Felt like they were made for Kinect or some shit with the huge buttons.
Except Waypoint is absolute shit on touch screens too. Try to scroll and you end up clicking something simply upon contact of your swipe, not to mention the overlays are laggy too, oh and parts of the site like counters load in a minute after you started browsing a page. Unless they're thinking really far ahead to phones that are much more powerful than my iPhone 5 which will be the only ones that are able to run that site properly.
 
As someone who hasn't put much time into Gears outside of the very first month of the first game's release, can anyone give me a primer on what the downfalls of 2 and 3 were? I know one complaint about 2 was that it was a rolling shotgun fest? Just curious.
 

Tashi

343i Lead Esports Producer
Played some H4 yesterday, first time in a while. Played Team Regicide, Pro and some 1v1. Felt good to play again. Controller was working nicely too so that was good. Had some really tight and tense Team Regicide matches. Seriously lost one game by 5 points.
 
As someone who hasn't put much time into Gears outside of the very first month of the first game's release, can anyone give me a primer on what the downfalls of 2 and 3 were? I know one complaint about 2 was that it was a rolling shotgun fest? Just curious.
2 was broken, shit like hip shooting weapons would shoot straight down at your feet, host was so heavy, laggy mess.

3 i thought was great aside from the sawed off. don't really know why i stopped playing. i just did.
 
As someone who hasn't put much time into Gears outside of the very first month of the first game's release, can anyone give me a primer on what the downfalls of 2 and 3 were? I know one complaint about 2 was that it was a rolling shotgun fest? Just curious.
Gears 2 had more game breaking glitches than Halo 2

Didn't play Gears 3, but fans didn't like that more emphasis was put on long range combat and the sawed off shotgun.
 
NobleGundam posted this in the middle of the night, and didn't really explain what he was linking to... so he got no replies.

But this video is one of the more impressive fan creations I've seen in a while. EVERYONE should go listen - this woman has a heavenly voice.

Malukah - Frozen Sleep
Oh, her voice is godly.

ha, at least it's bungie making destiny, not 343
you forget they are working for Activision
 
Poking around some of these old maps can be pretty fun.

I like how they just plopped down a big ass boulder in the middle of the courtyard on Terminal as a line of sight blocker. Its not even built into the map.

I guess they figured players were getting destroyed by vehicles and just plopped down a rock instance right through the palm tree's planter. :-D
 
Pisses me off when people play Extraction and have no idea what to do. A guy on my team ran into the other team's captured point, killed the guy, then left. Didn't covert it or anything.
 
It's not very hard to figure out. There are bases, you capture them, you can capture other team's bases...
Why not just call it Capture the Bases then.

Or Base Control.

Extraction sounds like some weird "go to objective, hold it while you extract the thing you need, and then take it back to your base" gametype.
 
Has anyone actually experienced the quit ban? I've quit a fair bit and have never come across it... and given some of the people on Waypoint, it wouldn't surprise me if the guy who wrote the Waypoint thread was just lying.
 
Has anyone actually experienced the quit ban? I've quit a fair bit and have never come across it... and given some of the people on Waypoint, it wouldn't surprise me if the guy who wrote the Waypoint thread was just lying.
Yeah, you'd think someone would have taken a pic of the screen saying they've been banned for quitting. I asked for proof earlier but there seemingly was none. I'm all for getting annoyed by bad decisions but I'd at least like to see proof that such a decision has been made.
 
So I just realised, there is no point in holding onto the Requisition perk - wait till you get a killstreak with options you dont want, then modify your perks to include it temporarily just to change the killstreak into something you want then when you die change back.

Pretty silly that it can be used that way, but meh.

Infinity Slayer, Sponsored by Ford
Oh thats boring.
 
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