The beta is pretty awesome considering how far away from release date it is. Some things I've noticed after a couple days and a few matches:
-I really like clamber and thrust! Those who complain about how it removes the skill gap have no idea what they are talking about. There are plenty of jumps and manuvers I've seen people do using clamber/thrust, that I personally have yet to accomplish. It takes a great deal of skill and timing to use those tools in such a manner.
-The flinch is very irritating. You don't need to get rid of it entirely but at least tone it down. Make it so it only de-scopes me from my AR/BR/DMR after a certain amount of damage has been done to my person. Or, since you seem set on removing it completely already, you can do that too.
-The environment art is lovely... but on Truth I can't see the other team. This is a big problem for me, especially since there are no gamma/lighting options in this beta(obviously the game will have these options). If my team and I are Red, I have incredible difficulty discerning if I just saw an enemy Spartan or if my eyes are freaking out and playing tricks on me. This is a legitimate source of concern and irritation for me and some people I play with. The Red team stands out just fine on the red tower. You can cross map scope and have no trouble picking out what is background and what is the other team - if you're Blue. But when we're playing as Red, it's REALLY HARD to tell them apart from the rest of the map 70% of the time! (No I don't need glasses, I'm not sitting 10 feet from my screen etc :)) The map is almost entirely blue or a blue-purple; we know this is typical of Covenant ships. My suggestion is to make the environment slightly more purple and less blue-slanted so the blue team stands out more. OR make the blue team color brighter? Or adjust the lighting somehow. I don't know the specifics of the model and maths involved, but please try to do something about this.
-Prophets Bane is absurdly bright. You don't need to make it boring and bland! Just turn down the glowing a teensy bit. The shields on top-mid are also very bright, and could be toned down a tiniest amount(though those I dont really mind). The glow of the sword just fills up the whole screen and makes it painfully hard to see anything else because of the high contrast and glow. A suggestion would be to just turn the glowing and brightness of the gold down a notch or two and it would be perfect.
-Enable us to have custom control settings! Please. I completely understand the desire for "Fairness" in official tournaments/qualifiers/etc! But let the rest of us who just play for fun with our friends to have custom settings! Please, please? I can't tell you how incredibly frustrating it is to have a control scheme available to me that only makes half-sense to my brain with how I want to use my hands in coordination with my eyes. The default is nearly perfect for me, but the thrust being on B is just all wrong feeling - I want it to be crouch/slide. But I can't do that unless I choose some other, terribly drastically different scheme for the sticks/bumpers. Thus far I've dealt with it, but it's honestly very frustrating to tap the B button and go scooting to the side when I wanted to crouch. Some peoples response will be 'just adjust to the different scheme and you'll be fine', but the problem is I'm not one of those people who can bounce back and forth between controller settings very easily. It takes me weeks to re-learn how to play different games sometimes. And frankly, that's just not fun when I'm trying to sprint about and have fun with my friends in Halo after a long day of working.
My suggestion for this is make a separate tournament focused side of the UI, I don't really know how to describe what I mean because I'm not a developer, nor a programmer. But I do know it's entirely possible to have it in such a way that tournaments can use a slightly different version of the game - where custom controller settings are not allowed. And for 'open tournaments' like the Halo 4 global championship, do the same. For those playlists/tournament qualifier type games, simply have the requirement that the controller settings be on a pre-set and not a custom. It can be done, please at least consider it. It's nearly 2015 - custom controller settings would be an amazing gift to give the rest of us who don't/can't do tournaments and/or just want to have fun. The community at large has been asking for this for a while. Please consider.
-Hitmarkers! In videos of the 'alpha'/beta before public release, there were audio hitmarkers for when you got headshots. Those have since been removed because they irritated pro-players. I was actually really excited there would be an audio cue. :/ The visual hitmarkers really don't do very much for me at all. They sincerely don't. I suspect I'm not the only person who experiences this too. My brain just bypasses the visual signal entirely in priority of other information. The games are very fast paced and a lot happens in the span of a couple seconds. My request is to add in audio hitmarkers again. Make it opt in and opt out. Those who don't want them don't have to have them turned on. Those who would appreciate them as an audible signal that they're getting headshots in a sticky/fast situation can have them. Some of us may find we respond much better to an audio cue than a visual one - some people are just like that. Please make this an optional opt in/opt out toggle option.
-Weapon pickups aren't very obvious. For my first several matches I had a great deal of difficulty finding any weapons other than those I spawned with. I simply couldn't figure out where the 'press button to pick up weapon' signal was. That and they were snatched by other teammates. :P Just make this more obvious please. Make it larger, bolder, in the middle of the screen, etc. It needs to be obvious you just ran over a weapon that you can pick up. I found it less than obvious.
P.S. Thanks for making the female model actually look like a female and not an emaciated boy!
EDIT: I love fireteam call outs and the voices! Makes everything much nicer - especially if XBL is having party issues and my friends' voices glitch out. I can still hear their Spartans doing callouts and letting me know what is happening, and where. Please keep. Add options for us to choose which voice our Spartan uses maybe? Similar to what Reach had? We earn/can buy voices over time and rank? This would be great for being able to tell each Spartan apart by voice specifically! I'm generally the only female in my group, so I'm not hard to pick out. But the rest of my friends all sound more or less the same to me. It would be great if I knew a specific voice was attached to a specific Spartan!