So I've been thinking through the things discussed and proposed here. I'm just one player within the total player base; plus, someone who clearly isn't a pro-level player, but here are my thoughts. I'll start by addressing the things I agree with.
With the Energy Sword, we’ve heard your feedback and have seen that the movement speed increase has negatively impacted CTF on Truth, making flag captures a bit too easy and exploitative. This is not ideal for players or viewers, so it will not be featured during the Summer 2017 season. We’re evaluating changes to this weapon and looking to reintroduce it into competitive play in the future.
I agree that removing the Energy Sword from CTF on Truth should improve the original integrity of the game-mode you (343i) were intending on; in fact, I think all CTF modes shouldn't include an Energy Sword on the map given the speed boost lent to the wielder.
Quote:WEAPON RESPAWN TIMERS
We’ve heard feedback that certain weapons on the map (such as Battle Rifle, Storm Rifle, Carbine, Scattershot, Shotgun, and others) respawn too frequently, so we’re looking into increasing the respawn time of these weapons. As a note, these changes will not impact weapons on Weapon Pads.
As someone who's competitive at a more casual level I can't say that I've personally felt that they respawned too frequently; however, if at the highest pro level where I'm sure they're much more in-tune and sensitive to these kinds of details I can fully understand that if they believe some adjustment would be beneficial then I can't envision how this type of change could lead to any real negative impact across the full spectrum.
We’ve both heard and observed that the Splinter Grenade is exceling outside of its intended role, which is area denial. Currently, it is used to kill instantly without warning, so we are evaluating ways to improve and bring back into competitive play. In the interim, Splinter Grenades will not be featured during the Summer 2017 season.
While I personally thought that limiting the amount of Splinter Grenades made available on a map was an ideal method to deal with the strength of that particular 'nade I suppose that lessening it's "kill" strength some would just be another or different method. I just don't want to see the Splinter Grenade made completely feeble since its area denial role within the game is currently quite a good one, IMO.
Quote:MOTION TRACKER (RADAR)
The changes above will heavily influence gameplay on all maps, and early next week, we’ll be collecting feedback as well as working with top players on motion tracker options that play best with the updated settings.
I've been a big fan of tweaking the motion tracker for some time and thought that the Abilities Tracker helped introduced a new direction for Halo's radar, but I still felt that there was a better option out there. A type of Hyrbid
is what I'd like to see that combines most of what made the Abilities Tracker a potential improved option, but something that still grants some helpful notifications within certain proximities.
Now for some of my disagreements or major concerns:
Quote:BRUTE PLASMA RIFLE
The Brute Plasma Rifle is stripping shields quickly, but feedback and data show that it is too effective at this, hurting the balance of this weapon. We like what the weapon adds to gameplay and are investigating balance updates, but the Brute Plasma Rifle will not be a part of the Summer 2017 season.
As far as I'm aware the Brute Plasma Rifle's TTK and cooldown are longer than the Storm Rifle, plus the Brute Plasma Rifle has a shorter fire duration in comparison too; meaning its energy become depleted quicker. To offset those negative aspects in relation to the Storm Rifle the Brute Plasma Rifle has a slightly better Red Retical Range (both from the hip and aiming) as well as more accurate shots which makes it a much more viable weapon choice at mid-range in comparison to the Storm Rifle -- I think these things add-up to be a pretty fair trade-off.
I guess what I don't understand is why the Brute Plasma Rifle needs nerfing? Both plasma rifles should be viewed as potential upgrades within their respective range strengths (over starting loadouts) given that they're considered lower-level power weapons and map pick-ups. What type of adjustments are we talking about here? I feel that dropping the RRR a very tiny bit could be an acceptable minor modification as long as it doesn't go below the Storm Rifle's ranges.
Players have been providing feedback that the current gameplay around the Assault Rifle has become unfit for competition. After extensive review, we have determined that the data supports this feedback. The Assault Rifle’s effectiveness is similar across a wide range of skill levels, which is not intended. As a result, the weapon will not be featured in competitive play during the Summer 2017 season. We’re actively evaluating best ways to update the weapon and reintroduce into competitive play once the weapon has been retuned and tested.
I feel this change has more to do with postulation. I feel it's mostly meant to appease those who'd prefer to see automatic weapons removed from higher level competition. That position is fine and all as I mostly get why they want that, but I think that position is a singular view on competitive Halo that doesn't consider the broad spectrum impact. As long as the Magnum remains the superior weapon at all ranges despite requiring a greater level of skill then I don't see why the Assault Rifle can't be accepted as a viable starting option for a wide range of skilled players.
At the highest levels of play people aren't typically using the Assault Rifle as their primary option; they tend to transition to it for its easier use at closer ranges and to finish kills, but that doesn't disregard the fact that the Magnum remains the superior option. I think it's important that Halo gives players who are not as skilled with the Magnum an option to find some success because it means that the game can remain inviting to them and it gives them a sense of being competitive.
I hope the AR isn't going to receive any major nerfs before potentially re-introducing it. For those who reference past playlists such as Hardcore, MLG, Throwback, and HCS in past titles to indicate "tradition" for removing it (in more permanent fashion) I hope they can also recall how those playlists attracted a very specific and limited group of players. I believe it's in the best interest of the game to have its' HCS geared playlist be somewhat inviting and relate-able toward the full player base which is why I'd prefer to see the current, or a very marginally modified, AR remain a secondary starting option.
EDIT NOTE: Just catching up on new information posted by ZaedynFel so my AR opinion may alter some based on that new information.