Any chance we're going to see some changes to loadouts and placement within the maps with the update to frags and splinters?
The change to splinters is wonderful. I think everyone knows how imbalanced they were in the sandbox and I'm keen to see them in competitive settings.
The change to frags on the other hand....
If I were to throw a blind frag grenade to check if an enemy was in a place out of vision, I would be notified by a hit marker. Now this hit marker indicated I have damaged my opponent. Now because I cant see this opponent, I cannot gauge their proximity to the grenade upon detonation and thus I am unable to assess how much damage they have taken. The old frag was better is this circumstance, when you get a hit marker with a NEW frag grenade on an opponent you cannot see, you gain knowledge that there is a player(s) there AND you know they are at least half shield. Whereas before there was risk to push the unknown shield value of your blind grenade, you are now rewarded with free knowledge of a weak opponent.
The new frag is low risk high reward. As the grind for 2018 HWC hastens this will be exploited and a meta will establish around this imbalanced grenade if things are not changed to accommodate it. Easy to nade choke points and highly desired positions on the maps are going to be won by well placed frag grenades. As this becomes apparent, play could shift to avoid such risk to easy frag damage and could you risk showcasing HWC with settings that spawn players with 2 frag grenades that are nearly stronger than the weapons you fight for the right to pick up.
The 2 frags you spawn with are rather powerful, a respawning player has the opportunity to nullify the opposing teams advantage with a single frag let alone 2 of them. Vise versa, a spawn trapping player has the opportunity to frag the respawners with grenades that GUARANTEE minimal 50% damage upon hit marker indication.
The kills coming from frag grenades now feel more unsatisfying than they were before, not anywhere near the level of what the old splinter grenade was though. But you have access to an abundance of frags compared to the few splinters we had.
My recommendation -
If you have not already tested with the current HCS map layouts that have no splinters on them, you could simply change the spartan loadout to spawn with 1 or 2 splinters as opposed to frag grenades. Frag grenades are already placed on most of if not all the maps in rotation, and the splinter in it's current state is a much needed change to freshen the stale gameplay that we are currently experiencing.
Or change the placement of grenades on the maps.
Long term though, remove hit markers from them or reduce blast radius.