Nah, no ARs. Until they are able to tweak the weapon to have some sort of legit skill differentiation at the higher levels, it has no place in competitive play even as a pickup.
They can't tweak the weapon without globally screwing up balance in all playlist. I'd be fine with the AR as a power weapon (unsilenced version) in place of possible SMG and storm rifle spawns. (In fact, I'd say that would work out better for competitive in my opinion, as the SMG and storm rifle both outclass the AR. 72 shots/2 clips (one in reserve, one in the clip when it spawns) should be the amount of ammo given for said weapon to balance its possible "overuse" that people are complaining about.
New settings are fantastic, the game is instantly 100 % more competitive with no autos and splinters. My changes would be:
- Increase pistol magazine from 10 to 15
- Increase pistol reserve ammo (maybe 1.5x to 2x)
- Remove grenade hit markers
- Remove sprint
- Increase base movement speed and jump height
- Remove radar altogether (but only with the removal of sprint / increase in BMS/JH as above)
- Remove spartan charge
- Lower reserve ammo on all rifles
- Remove rifles from Pink / Carbine towers on Truth - so many games end in spawn killings by the enemy team with Carbines from the Bubbles
- Remove weapon pad timer to introduce a further skill gap between teams/coaches
Sprint won't be removed, since everyone is pretty much divided on that one in the halo community. (I'd be down for classic and modern gamemodes in the playlist to please both sides, but having one and removing the other would just cause more problems than it would create solutions)
As for weapon pad timers, you have to remember this is MATCHMAKING. Not the actual HCS game. While it might be a good idea for the event, it would massively screw over players who solo queue in competitive playlist. Forcing a matchmaking style/queue type has been, and will continue to be an ongoing problem until 343i fixes both sides of the problem. Having a change like this in Matchmaking would practically just be shoving the middle finger up a solo-queuing player's face, similar to what the warzone playlist updates did to 12 man parties.