I think we'll see an additional tweak on the weapon tuning down the road that will address BR and other weapon feedback, but the magnum is now over-powered and so doesn't work for competitive. There would basically be no reason to have any other weapons on the map, which given our current history we have found to not be a successful approach. We're currently only putting actual HWC candidate map/modes into that playlist.
How exactly is being properly viable "OP"? How does that "not work" for competitive? For the first time in two years, players who spawn with Magnums (the self proclaimed utility of the game) can actually contest and win against any easier to use rifle, and most automatic weapons. Not only that, but people will openly contest stuff like a BR rather than run or thrust away because they can properly contest the user using it, helping the game's pacing issues. That's more proper balance than the game's first two years had and the tuning didn't even impact hilariously easy weapons like the Plasma Rifle, Storm Rifle, or LightRifle which now have their own little ring of dominance in the game, now.
The issue isn't that the Magnum's power makes picking up other weapons "needless", or without reason. It's that these weapons don't need to exist in the first place since they're almost carbon copies of the Magnum. The DMR and LightRifle may as well be a straight upgrade for it, and the BR's just an inconsistent, burst fire incarnation. Rather than eliminating the ONE good, skilltaking weapon in the game, why not eliminate the three other weapons that have no place to be there, and simplify the sandbox? Because this helps no one, and will only impact the game negatively as BR starts in the HWC playlist have shown.
Just look at the HWC playlist. Inconsistent BRs push an over-reliance on teamshot, and the lack of reliability impacts the individual and weakens them by default, stopping the ability for people to make plays and decisions on their own. This will slow your game's pace to a crawl in Slayer undoubtedly, when you go for it, because people can't do anything on their own now due to the BR.
Having a sole, consistent weapon in the form of the Magnum was entirely a successful approach, it just wasn't done properly for two years. And other games are a testament to how it works when done properly. Halo: CE
being prime among them. The CE
Magnum was consistent, hard to use, but more powerful than everything else in the sandbox, objectively. Yet it didn't render everything else useless. The Plasma Rifle has its stunlock, the AR's good for quick camo and clean ups, etc. Weapon pickups weren't a plenty because you didn't generally need them, and when you did, said weapons performed in properly niche ways, as said before. You just had a proper utility weapon, and were able to use it and maybe some other stuff at certain times to get the job done. Not only that, but said utility was powerful, giving people confidence when they moved around the map, since they know their weapon will work, and is powerful enough to get the job done. That's key to keeping game pace up, too.
And the Magnum in Halo 5
now basically has that role on a slower paced scale. It can contest almost any other weapon properly, is consistent, allows for player movement due to its power in relation to other weapons, has a good range niche, and is the hardest to use of them all. That isn't bad, because it just increases player agency across the board in a generally skillful manner. Not only that, but it can easily allow for a simplification of the sandbox. You don't need the BR, DMR, or LR anymore. Can easily take them out and eliminate three variables from the player's mind in an already complex title. Given most autos were removed from HCS, that just allows for the Magnum to properly reign supreme in what should be a competitive environment. It, and some power ups/power weapons. Which is fine. Generally simple gunplay like that is good.
And that's what baffles me more. Somehow worrying that players are too strong in a competitive environment, over realizing that the forced BR and Gunfighter starts are somehow being tested for a competitive environment when the BR's in one of the least competitive states it could be in, while the Gunfighter's basically a joke. Seriously. Why are we pushing for players to be WEAKER off spawn when that'll always hinder a game and its pace? Not only that, but how the BR is currently basically makes any gunfight a dice roll when it has trouble hitting someone who's moving four feet in front of you. Doesn't even account for how inconsistency literally only impacts higher players negatively and rewards poorer skilled players improperly. It's not fun to have weak or inconsistent weapons, so why're we getting rid of the weapon that can make us strong in this game, and treating strength like it's a bad thing?