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Testing of Outpost/Sanctum

OP Tashi

Every so often we have group calls with top pro players to provide updates on things like game settings, share announcement details, and more. One of these calls took place yesterday, and it was really productive. We were not only able to talk about the exciting news we had but we also had an open and honest conversation about the settings process.

While we’ve made a lot of progress so far with the addition of some community Forge maps, the addition of Oddball, and the removal of Spartan Charge and Ground Pound, players expressed wanting to also add CTF on Outpost. Outpost should sound familiar, it was one of the stellar Forge maps we were fortunate enough to test this off season for HCS consideration. Ultimately, it didn’t make the cut and it was partially because it didn’t play very well on the standard CTF rules that exist within Halo 5/HCS. It also didn’t hit our aesthetics bar which is particularly important for maintaining our viewer experience goals. Gameplay is absolutely the most important factor when deciding which maps to go with, but viewership is a key goal for the HCS and so aesthetic quality is something we must consider as well (amongst other things like framerate, etc). We needed to make a decision on which maps we could move forward with in order to begin the polish phase, and we decided to move forward with Echelon and Fissure - both of which are continuing to perform well and see improvements each day.

Halo 5 has only ever had one CTF ruleset in the core Arena mode suites since the game launched, which has allowed for a consistent and easy to understand playing and viewing experience. With that being said, we’re open to exploring other CTF rulesets today, but we need to make sure we’re thinking about the impact it has on player and viewing experience. How do we communicate to players that rules are different on one map vs another? How do viewers at home understand that as well? These are some of the things that we have to keep in mind as we evaluate changes to rulesets.

We told the pros that we’d have some discussions with various teams here at 343 and get back to them with an update as soon as we can. So, here’s the update: we’ll be changing our plans for the settings update process a bit to start testing new CTF rules for Outpost. While StrongSide has already run some initial tests today with pros, the official testing period kicks off on Monday, May 21. By next week, we should be able to share more details on the specific rulesets we’ll be testing.

In terms of aesthetics, the Forger pwn jones has done an absolutely astonishing job of updating Outpost to look more modern. It looks so different in fact, he actually changed the name to Sanctum. Don’t take my word for it though, you can see the latest photos in his tweet here. The Forgers of all of these maps continue to be the real MVPs of this whole process, as the iteration we’ve seen to improve these maps in such a short period of time has been nothing short of incredible.

Finally, one of our goals for this whole process was to improve Fathom in some fashion to address issues surrounding general gameplay leading to ties/standoffs. While we’re still just testing CTF on Sanctum/Outpost, if it were to be added, it would replace CTF on Fathom in the official rotation.

Again, we’ll keep everyone posted on the latest throughout this whole process. Don’t forget to follow @StrongSide to get in on playtest or watch those that are streaming and leave your feedback as well. Have a great weekend!

This is sick. Hint for fixing flag... 10 second respawns ( please please please please :)
How do we communicate to players that rules are different on one map vs another? How do viewers at home understand that as well? These are some of the things that we have to keep in mind as we evaluate changes to rulesets.
I'm not trying to be funny but your pro players aren't dumb, and neither are the viewers. The pro players have been playing the game for years, a lot of them have played the previous Halo games too. They are well aware that the world isn't going to explode when Capture the Flag isn't 3 to win.

As for viewers, it is literally in the bottom right corner for the whole game. Get the casters to say first to 5 just like they've said first to 3 for the past three years.
Please don't add Outpost to HCS.

You might as well consider Orion as an HCS map if you're willing to put Outpost on the HCS rotation.
Just 5 Flag Sanctum... The rest can stay as 3 Flag...
D M4N8 wrote:
Please don't add Outpost to HCS.

You might as well consider Orion as an HCS map if you're willing to put Outpost on the HCS rotation.
Outpost is not... Sanctum is being considered... The map actually has 10x better frame consistency than outpost.
Honestly wouldn't mind you keeping Fathom HCS - Capture the Flag HCS and Eden HCS - Slayer HCS... This would create unique series combinations and maps not being overplayed.
Syxnrgy - Please don't post multiple times in a row, thanks. You can edit your last post to add more information
Tashi, is there any possibility of changing the OT flag rules just for LAN? As a viewer of HCS events there's nothing worse than a replay because it breaks the flow of the broadcast and all of the tension built up is just wasted.

Ideally I think flag games tied after 12 minutes would have an untimed, sudden death OT, but I don't think sudden death or an untimed OT are possible with the current list of custom game settings (someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that though).

If not, why not go back to the settings used previously on LAN - first to three caps still wins, but games are longer (30 minutes or more) and there are "house rules" where the leading team at 12/15 minutes wins and tied games after 12/15 minutes become sudden-death? I think as long as the win conditions are communicated before/during the game it wouldn't be confusing to a new viewer - and for those of us who have been watching for a while it would be a welcome change.

And I know a lot of people dislike Fathom flag; I wonder how much of that is the number of replays it has had during tournaments. For me some of the most memorable moments of competitive H5 have been on Fathom flag, so I would sort of hate to see it go. I think if we had better OT settings from the start the perception of Fathom would be more positive.
Please take a look at BR starts. With the range and hitscan nerf they actually take more skill than the magnum. Would also acheive watchablity as the games would play using more strategy and power positions. And allow smaller maps to be playable (range nerf). People don't pick it up now because its harder to use.. Shouldn't the hardest to use gun provide more skill gap? Maybe late in the game, but the change would also grab more vets attention and perhaps introduce them back into halo, therefore the selling of H6 in the next 2 years would see and increase.
I think that there is no problem with HG start, but I hope to augment BR's aim assist a little more.
BR placed on the map is not an effective means to HG, HALO so far did not have that.
I can think of recoil without any problems without any problem, but this is too bad for this.
Currently Sanctum HCS is undergoing various patches from Pwn Jones. :) I found some jumps but unfortunately due to balancing they were patched out. Here is the video of the old jumps and nerd spots.