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[Locked] 2017 Season Update

OP Tashi

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Apoll0 wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
It looks a lot like you are comparing the AR to other automatics when deciding whether it is OP or not.
Where do AR vs Pistol fights level out and at what range? That's the question that matters. Those are the 2 starting weapons, they need to be balanced to each other first and foremost. other than extreme close range (and even then if someone has godlike pistol aim) the AR shouldn't be beating the magnum provided both players start firing at each other at the same time and have the same accuracy... but it does. A lot.
2 weapons shouldn't be doing comparable damage when one is significantly easier to use (AR) than the other (magnum). This might be a tall order but is it possible to run stats on players that engage at different ranges at the same time, one with the AR and the other with the Magnum? I doubt we track some of that, but its worth an ask i suppose :)
If you have a pistol out in super close range the pistol should lose! a full auto should never lose in super close combat.
Sure it should. The magnum is a more difficult gun to use. Period. Given the difficulty increase, if the magnum user never missed with perfect shot pacing they should be able to kill the AR even up close and be rewarded for having equal or better accuracy with a weapon that is harder to use and has less margin for error (the Magnum fires a bullet just north of every .2 seconds, the AR just south of every .1 seconds so when you miss with the magnum it hurts more). If they miss then sure, you are right they should lose.
Glad to see things like splinters and brute rifles getting removed. Praise the Halo gods!
ZaedynFel wrote:
We will evaluate how these settings fit in across all of the different activities in Halo, and use them where they best fit. This includes even Team Arena. If we find these settings are amazing across the board, then they could migrate into Team Arena. We may also find that they do not fit in Team Arena, but are great for HCS. We’ll keep a close eye on this and plan accordingly.
Whoa Whoa. If Team Arena doesn't appropriate the new settings changes, then there wouldn't be a matchmaking option to play HCS settings, which would be an absurdly silly move.

(And, to get ahead of this possible proposal, Proving Grounds should not be a permanent home to HCS settings; it should be a BF1 CTE-esque testing environment. Team Arena should be the home to HCS settings.)
ZaedynFel wrote:
For the AR here are my recommendations:
Probably the number 1 things to look into would definitely be the headshot multiplier, the range and the ttk.
Since the weapon is an automatic weapon a headshot multiplier leads to randomness due to the inaccuracy of the weapon. Oftenly enough an unskilled player could get lucky with the weapon getting random hits to the head. Removing the headshot multiplier all together would remove this from being a problem.
Range could definitely use a decrease as currently it can go toe to toe with many of the long to medium range precision weapons which makes it break out of it's role a bit. Dialing that back would be significantly effective.
Another trick that could be helpful is reducing how fast it kills by a marginal amount. This would allow a player who is more skillful in close quarters with the pistol to outskill a player who's spraying and praying.
I'd argue that there is a reasonable skill gap with the AR beyond immediate close range... a skilled player will burst fire at a high rate, and maintain accuracy, possibly around head-level to increase chances of headshot damage.

The problem is how easy it is to force immediate hyper close range encounters due to the map design a lot of times. Lots of enclosed areas/doorways to pitch a tent and roast marshmallows... unsuspecting player runs through, a short burst, melee, DONE.

There's very little skill in that. It's why (more) open layouts are hugely favored in games like Halo, among competitive players... People have to push out into high visibility areas, and at that point, a ranged 1v1 will occur and someone has to hit more accurate/precision shots to emerge the winner.

H5 for the most part does this well, but some maps are grossly segmented and enclosed in design where players can shut themselves off from the rest of the map entirely and rack up cheap kills.
Those are great news. I think the energy sword is fine, because getting it top mid on truth is a pain in the -Yoink-. Just make it half the energy so you can get only 5 kills or less. Radar is key to this Halo. Cutting it out may cause new problems. The maps have too many angles to not have radar in the game. Look at older Halo maps and you'll see why radar was cut out. Simply because it was easier/possible to predict the enemy well. H5 maps have too many corners. But that's fine as long as the radar stays. No hate on your maps I like them with the sprtan abilities. If you put new maps in, no radar could work. We'll see. Just put some older maps into H5 like pit, sanctuary or others. There you will see how no radar works.
Anyways good job guys :) I'm excited for precision weapon battles <3
greetings from Germany :*
The problem with sword was how fast it allowed flags to be run, not how many kills it could get.
Apoll0 wrote:
It looks a lot like you are comparing the AR to other automatics when deciding whether it is OP or not.

Where do AR vs Pistol fights level out and at what range? That's the question that matters. Those are the 2 starting weapons, they need to be balanced to each other first and foremost. other than extreme close range (and even then if someone has godlike pistol aim) the AR shouldn't be beating the magnum provided both players start firing at each other at the same time and have the same accuracy... but it does. A lot.

2 weapons shouldn't be doing comparable damage when one is significantly easier to use (AR) than the other (magnum). This might be a tall order but is it possible to run stats on players that engage at different ranges at the same time, one with the AR and the other with the Magnum? I doubt we track some of that, but its worth an ask i suppose :)
We're comparing it across the board, not just AR vs. AR. I gave that as the example because it's one of the clearest cases of where there's an issue. Pistol vs. Pistol we see the higher-skilled player winning more consistently. AR vs. AR isn't living up to that. So even though the data don't show much evidence that AR vs. Pistol is imbalanced at the right ranges, the data do give evidence that the AR has skill ceiling issues.
Mr FFish wrote:
Halo Competitive scene:

Halo 1: No radar
Halo 2: No radar
Halo 3: No radar
Halo Reach: No radar
Halo 4: No radar
Halo 5: RadarI'll never understand why radar has been turned on for Halo 5's competitive settings since day 1. in 4v4 competitive settings, the communication between your teammates is essentially your substitute for radar. Halo 1/2/3/4/Reach have all been like this, so turning on the radar in Halo 5... just why?
One argument could be the fact that Spartans move like Sonic the Hedgehog in this game. That being said, I like the proving grounds radar that shows an enemy while they are sprinting but not while they are "walking".
XxXShizzy wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
We will evaluate how these settings fit in across all of the different activities in Halo, and use them where they best fit. This includes even Team Arena. If we find these settings are amazing across the board, then they could migrate into Team Arena. We may also find that they do not fit in Team Arena, but are great for HCS. We’ll keep a close eye on this and plan accordingly.
Whoa Whoa. If Team Arena doesn't appropriate the new settings changes, then there wouldn't be a matchmaking option to play HCS settings, which would be an absurdly silly move.

(And, to get ahead of this possible proposal, Proving Grounds should not be a permanent home to HCS settings; it should be a BF1 CTE-esque testing environment. Team Arena should be the home to HCS settings.)
I agree that there should always be a place for the current HCS settings in Ranked. Where that ends up being will be determined as we evaluate the settings.

As has been suggested, there are a few options. One is Team Arena, another is having a separate playlist.

Also, if we continue to need another testing environment similar to how we've been using Proving Grounds, we would evaluate the best place to put that as well.
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.
Quote:
ENERGY SWORD
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.
Quote:
SPLINTER GRENADE
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.
Quote:
ASSAULT RIFLE
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.
ZaedynFel wrote:
Apoll0 wrote:
It looks a lot like you are comparing the AR to other automatics when deciding whether it is OP or not.

Where do AR vs Pistol fights level out and at what range? That's the question that matters. Those are the 2 starting weapons, they need to be balanced to each other first and foremost. other than extreme close range (and even then if someone has godlike pistol aim) the AR shouldn't be beating the magnum provided both players start firing at each other at the same time and have the same accuracy... but it does. A lot.

2 weapons shouldn't be doing comparable damage when one is significantly easier to use (AR) than the other (magnum). This might be a tall order but is it possible to run stats on players that engage at different ranges at the same time, one with the AR and the other with the Magnum? I doubt we track some of that, but its worth an ask i suppose :)
We're comparing it across the board, not just AR vs. AR. I gave that as the example because it's one of the clearest cases of where there's an issue. Pistol vs. Pistol we see the higher-skilled player winning more consistently. AR vs. AR isn't living up to that. So even though the data don't show much evidence that AR vs. Pistol is imbalanced at the right ranges, the data do give evidence that the AR has skill ceiling issues.
Oh excellent. Thank you for the clarification!
ZaedynFel wrote:
Partial to No Radar, but I'm aware that it has issues. Would like to see the SA tracker reduced to 18m to see how that plays out, but I think SA tracker is a step in the right direction.
Re-posting this from the beyond forums but AR changes I'd like to see if/when it gets reintroduced to HCS settings:
  • Increased rate of bloom to lower effectiveness of spraying outside of close range
  • limit headshots to only the first few shots of the burst to remove the likelyhood of "random" headshots that result from the spread
  • Lower red reticle range so that AR fights at the edge of the AR's intended range now require a more aiming skill
Pistol ammo: In order of preference I'd like to see
  1. 1 or 2 extra clips off spawn
  2. Extended Mag Pistol instead of the standard one
  3. 2+ magnums added to each map for additional ammo
ZaedynFel wrote:
This is exactly what the main article needs to be complete, a clear explanation of the changes, not just a "As a result, the weapon will not be featured in competitive play during the Summer 2017 season" this is just confusing, this means that every single game type in the list is going to be affected, why is this kind of desition been taken? is that appropiate?... Oh, I see, is just affecting Proving Grounds in order to see what's next. The main article needs more information, this is just the beggining for the worsts discussions in the forums, I've even read a guy going full "-Yoink-","-Yoink-","-Yoink-","-Yoink-","-Yoink-","-Yoink-","-Yoink-","-Yoink-".
Hello. I have a question about this update. I will say it has been a long time coming thank you. So I see that you have social and ranked play lists. With this change is the ranked playlist going to be where these changes are going to take effect like arena, slayer, and proving ground? To me those are what I would consider competitive playlists. Or is it going to be proving grounds only?
Necr0tiq wrote:
umju wrote:
The best radar setting is no radar.
You need a radar for how quick this game is compared to other Halo's. Keep the old radar and once ARs are out it'll be much better.
are delusional? Reach/H4 had jetpacks and evades in competitive and they didnt need Radar... people who say 'halo 5 is fast' didnt play H2/3 in its prime at top tier gameplay, i can say the same with Reach when it had both sprint and no sprint settings... quit using that 'we have spartan charge and clamber therefore we need radar'... no, use your headsets and map awareness
ZaedynFel wrote:
Thanks for chiming in on this forum thread Josh. As usual you've been able to bring a lot more transparency and helpful information.
All of you're comments brought quite a sense of ease regarding 343i's take on potential changes, but I wanted to address your comments on the AR specifically. I find it kind of funny how after I finally was able to post my general thoughts on this thread's topic you were able to provide additional information that somewhat alters or eases my concerns regarding 343's outlook on the Assault Rifle. I'm glad to hear that nothing radical regarding a nerf is on the docket for the AR.
One rough thought I had to address the AR might be to give it an initial target reticle that's smaller (perhaps closer to those on the Pistol, BR, and DMR) while maintaining its bloom and perhaps adding a tad bit of recoil when extensively fired in full auto. The bloom effect would expand its scatter potential toward traditional AR standards and the recoil effect would cause a player's aim to drift slightly upward. These alterations should hopefully cause players to be a bit more reliant on techniques such as pulse and crouch firing, plus exercising some aim compensation in order to keep the weapon under control and its bullets on target; especially, at mid-range and further distances where the weapon already struggles to compete. At closer ranges the aim assist and bullet magnetism reduction tied to a smaller reticle is where this weapon sees it's biggest effect. The bloom effect could cause bullets to scatter outside of the bullet magnetism effect which in turn puts a greater emphasis on maintaining aim accuracy up close and adding some pulse firing to help control the bloom effect. This last aspect is most important for Pro players because they tend to only consider using the AR at very close ranges. I think these changes would certainly make the AR more of a skilled weapon without altering anything else in reference to the weapon's sandbox fit and generally easier sense of use from the superior pistol.
I haven't read through this whole thread, and don't know if this is the place, but my suggestion for the Splinter Grenade is this:

Make it equivalent to a thrown Spartan Charge.

I.e. the impact of the thrown grenade would knock the player back (area denial) and blow out their shields, but not necessarily kill them (unless they're already weak). I think this would make the splinter meta pretty interesting. I really don't like Spartan Charge but having the effects of it in a grenade might be cool.

Really looking forward to the changes; thanks 343!!
Kaioken wrote:
Necr0tiq wrote:
umju wrote:
The best radar setting is no radar.
You need a radar for how quick this game is compared to other Halo's. Keep the old radar and once ARs are out it'll be much better.
are delusional? Reach/H4 had jetpacks and evades in competitive and they didnt need Radar... people who say 'halo 5 is fast' didnt play H2/3 in its prime at top tier gameplay, i can say the same with Reach when it had both sprint and no sprint settings... quit using that 'we have spartan charge and clamber therefore we need radar'... no, use your headsets and map awareness
Overall I agree. The time it takes to get from one of the the map to another is generally the same or greater than an equivalent map in prior games (think truth vs midship). There is a great GIF out there that shows this. Since the maps have been stretched to accomodate for sprint, and people can't move at max speed when shooting or just playing carefully, map traversal actually takes longer on average.

However....

I still find the SA tracker to be favorable over no radar at all and there are 2 things to blame:
1) Spartan Charge. this mechanic is awful and without radar it gets a real buff. Sure you can hear it coming, but without a radar that shows EXACTLY where, you still have to turn, see the guy sprinting, then thrust out of the way. Its cheap and unskilled. With SA radar you can read radar real quick and thrust out of the way.
2) The spint-thrust-slide-jump combo. This allows map traversal at a much greater speed than ever before, even with the stretched map size. if slide immediately started to slow you down instead of accelerating you, it wouldnt be a problem.

Remove spartan charge and "break" the above combo as soon as slide hits and suddenly no radar is viable. But until then, having played both, i prefer SA radar and i am sad to say that but for Halo 5 thats the truth. Hopefully some mechanical fixes come out for Halo 6 that make that not the case.
Greate !!! But please fix Breakout remover the shotgun!! Only Magnum
I'm glad all of you "competitive" players are so happy. I'm a casual player, and if these changes go through all ranked playlists that just stinks! I know you will all tell me to go play social but that's not fair for 2 reasons: First, there are playlists that I like that are only available in ranked (team Slayer). Second, the matchmaking for social stinks because it's where all you "competitive" players go for a fun loving time and beat up on us "casuals" over and over....and over. Ranked is the only place I can get regularly even matches (even 343 themselves have admitted to this problem). I don't understand why there can't be a designated "HCS" (new MLG) playlist, like there has been in H2, H3, Reach, H4 and so on (you all keep referencing those games, so I will too. Why does Halo's premiere playlist, Team Arena, have to drag us "casuals" in with it's "pro" settings, even though it has veered further and further from 343's original vision for the game? TA should not be ONLY for "competitives"! Us "casuals" deserve a place to play in a fair environment too. Especially we make up a larger portion of the player base. We're just not the loudest, I guess. We're not on twitch or YouTube making videos about how everything needs to be like Halo 2. But we're the ones buying the game. Let's see if we still are when H6 comes out.
This is just for HCS and that means Team Arena only. Do you even read what the OP said? They will test in in PG starting tomorrow and once they get some solid settings they will become the settings for the next HCS season. Chill, they are not changing all ranked playlists.
Like I said, as I'm sure you read, we deserve to play Team Arena without being bound in the confines of "pro" settings. Don't change TA! We want to be able to play CTF and Strongholds under fair/ranked settings too. Make an HCS playlist for the "competitive" players.
You do understand that TA was from the beginning the HCS playlist . They change the settings for the HCS every season and that's why in TA and when they do it affects TA. That's how it works. That's why instead of having 2 splinter nades spawn together ( like it used too be around 6-8 months ago) they changed it to one. Stuff like that always happens. This time they are bringing new changes to HCS, so it might be more drastic for casuals that enjoy that playlist.
Instead of a rant you should've voiced your concerns in a more organized way. I read your entire post but they way you wrote it made me feel you were against this changes in general, not just for competitive.
So, now that I understand your point of view, I agree. There should be an HCS playlist for HCS settings and a TA playlist for old settings.The population will shrink really bad though...
I do hope they put the competitive settings into a separate playlist for those that may want to play ranked objective gametypes but not at such a hardcore level, especially since all the other ranked playlists are only Slayer gametypes.
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