Forums / Games / Halo 5: Guardians

My Halo 5 Feedback by SepheusIX of Section 3.

OP SepheusIX

Greetings fellow Spartans!

In this thread I will be documenting my thoughts, feelings and opinions on the latest set of war games simulations known as the 'Halo 5: Guardians Beta'.
These opinions are my own and may include some of the opinions, thoughts, feelings and anecdotes who played along side me.

During the beta I played in varying configurations from solo to full party. The people I was playing with in my party were varied in their skills and ranked Iron through Onyx. Playing solo had the least success rate and playing as a full party had the highest success rate (understandably!).

Service Record - Image

Games Played: 256
Games Won: 155
Time Played: 1d 15h
Medals Earned: 7366
Spartan Rank: 32
Kills: 3712
Deaths: 1784
Assists: 1347
KDA Spread: 8.6
Highest Slayer Rank: Onyx Rank 3
Lowest Slayer Rank: Gold Rank 3
Highest Breakout Rank: Gold Rank 2
Lowest Breakout Rank: Gold Rank 2
Highest Strongholds Rank: Gold Rank 3
Lowest Strongholds Rank: Gold Rank 2
Control Scheme: Recon, auto-stabilize off, toggle crouch, sensitivity 5.

Alright, let's get to it!

Spartan Abilities

Thruster Pack

  Feels like a natural move for the series to me. I exclusively used the Thruster Pack in Halo 4, no other AA felt worthwhile. I was quite glad that they chose to adopt it as one of the core Spartan Abilities. I love dash mechanics in games such as Armored Core, Titanfall and Hawken so I got right to using this ability at every moment possible.

  It feels more natural to deploy my Thrusters than simply bounce away as we would in previous titles. The extra dimension of movement is most welcome.
  
  Strategically it allows us to perform feints and distractions or reach better positioning. Offensively we can mix it up in a firefight by thrusting off in an unexpected direction and defensively we can use it to efficiently pop back into cover.

Ground Pound

  At first ground pounding does not seem to flow with the parkour idea. The ground pound makes you stop and hang in mid-air for a few seconds which brings your tempo of play down a bit. However, as I became more accustomed to the mechanic I began to see more and more opportunities to use this on an unsuspecting foe. It is not a reliable method of dispatching an opponent for sure; sometimes I'll land and just bump them to safety.

  Other times I will get myself killed due to my over-eagerness to splat someone below me that hasn't noticed me. I like to ground pound if the match is drawing to a close and we have a safe margin or if I am in such a situation where a quick ground pound is the cleanest solution. There's certainly bugs that need to be worked out but when it works it's great.

  I don't mind the ground pound controls as they are but they are subject to change in which case I would perhaps like to see the ground pound assigned to holding the jump button in mid-air. I did not see as many people using ground pound as I thought I would and even less people using it successfully. I suppose it may be awkward to do on some control schemes.

Clamber

  This is another mechanic that feels natural. This ties in with Ground Pound in that it allows us to have taller structures than before so we can ground pound off of them but we are also still able to traverse them. Not sure what causes the periodic 'double clamber' bug, whether that is lag or just a glitch I suppose we will have to wait and see. This ability flows nicely with sprint and thrust.

Slide

  Strange one. On the surface it seems to have rather limited utility. There were no shotguns available during the entire beta so I have no idea how the shotgun-slide would have worked out. Sliding behind cover did not really seem to do much in Breakout - Thrusting would have been just as effective. However, in saying that, I would have missed it had it not been present. It feels natural that if you crouch whilst running you will slide.

  One use I discovered for this ability was making quick 180° turns when picking up a power weapon. Sprint full speed toward the weapon, slide into it and turn to convert the momentum.

Charge

  This ability killed me more times than failed ground pounds. It sounds good on paper, melee at full speed to do a shoulder bash type thing - that's great!. However... the reality is that it does not have very much magnetism so you will often times smash into a wall beside the enemy or if you do make contact you will just bounce him to safety where he can headshot you.

  I assumed shoulder charging someone directly would instantly kill them but it would seem it only de-shields an opponent. Not worth it for the trade-offs. It will insta-kill to the back, but a regular smack would have done that anyway.

Sprint

  This basic ability makes an expected return. I was pleased to see the return of sprint and a focus on making it practical on the battlefield. I think not allowing the shields to recharge until sprinting is halted is a fine compromise between infinite sprint and disallowing escape.

  At the moment the mechanic seems to be a little glitchy - sometimes people will run through shots with no impediment and other times I will not be able to run at full speed despite not being shot (odd limping animation?).

  The increase in mobility of Spartans allows for flanking manoeuvres like never before and I look forward to seeing these tactics developed. I also like the fact that I can link up with my team much quicker if I get spawned far away. I would like it if sprint would force a descope.

Smart Scope/Stabilizers

  Much was made of this new Smart Scope system but it seems almost functionally identical to zoom, just with some fancier graphics. I've seen that it tightens the spread on the automatics, which is fine with me.

  My friend [REDACTED] fell into the trap of thinking it was 'ADS', he came into the beta pretty much blank and picked up the default controls. Seeing zoom on the trigger he assumed that he had to aim down the sights in order to hit anything accurately. Several losses later he was wondering why everyone was so difficult to kill (eventually he figured it out). It would perhaps be best if people playing with zoom on the trigger had to re-hold it after being descoped otherwise quite a few people will fall into this trap!

  Stabilizers are a small addition but circumstantially useful. I have no idea why anyone would want auto-stabilizers on but on manual they're pretty effective, 9/10 times when sniping. It just gives you that extra vantage point whilst also putting yourself at risk. Pretty balanced. In my placement matches I saw a great deal of players with auto mode on and they were shot to pieces almost instantly.
Weapons

  Assault Rifle

  This incarnation of the AR seems very inconsistent. Sometimes I get shot to pieces by it almost instantly and other times I have literally been able to pick up a weapon off the floor and kill the attacker before the AR has managed to finish me. I suspect this may be something to do with the headshot damage multiplier applying to the AR bullets.

  Battle Rifle

  Solid weapon, my most used weapon in the beta. Feels familiar and handles as expected will out shoot any other non-power weapon gun within effective range barring the Pistol.

  DMR

  Very accurate, I find it quite easy to get the five shot kills with the DMR versus 4 shots with the BR. A little slower than the BR but a very reliable weapon and this incarnation feels powerful. It is an excellent gun for covering fire.

  Energy Sword

  I did not spend a great deal of time with the Energy Sword this time around. It feels like the lunge distance was perhaps reduced to compensate for the addition of sprint (and the inherent speed boost from the weapon) and thrusters. I did not try this weapon whilst scoped.

  Hydra

  This weapon really shines on a more open map, I found it was wasted on a map like Regret. The lock on is surprisingly strong. This weapon may need the maximum ammo capacity reduced somewhat, though perhaps that is symptomatic of the frequent power weapon spawns.

  Light Rifle

  A very good suppression weapon - the three shot kill when scoped makes this weapon quite fearsome when deployed from a strong position. It is very useful to get snipers to back down. Behaves similar to the DMR otherwise.

  Pistol

  My go to weapon with the AR starts. The Pistol is extremely effective at close range, four shots to the body and one to the head. Scoping does not seem to do much for this weapon.

  Rocket Launcher

  The re-design is interesting, not sure how I feel about the lengthy animation on pick-up. Seems to perform just as well as the previous iterations except now people have more chance of dodging with their thrusters.

  SMG

  I did not really like this gun too much. It can certainly make a very quick kill in close quarters and seems to function better when scoped but the kill times are as inconsistent as the Assault Rifle.

  Sniper Rifle

  Feels just like the old snipers. The little delay before the reticule becomes visible was off-putting at first but I got used to it. Seems slow to switch from sniper to another weapon making the old 'YY' descope impractical.

  Grenades

  These need some careful tweaking. Grenades seem to get shot an awful lot compared to their older counterparts. The physics interaction of Thrusters and Grenades may need to be modified somewhat, you can chuck a grenade at someone and watch them Thrust off into the far distance from the blast and out of sight! The lack of grenade indicator was surprising at first but I understand it may not have been included precisely because of the Thruster Pack. Who isn't going to Thrust as soon as they see the indicator?

  It appears it is once again possible to 'cook' plasma grenades - this is fun and leads to some explosive moments. I didn't land too many stickies during the beta but I usually don't try for them. I prefer to use plasma grenades to block doorways.

  Melee/Assassination

  The magnetism on the melee seems too low. More often than not I was left whiffing at the air and I saw this happen to a great many opponents too. The Assassination mechanic seems at odds with Charge, perhaps charging to the back would lead to a quick tackle assassination or some sort of back breaking assassination? However, I did pull off quite a few two shot beatdowns with the BR so it still has its uses despite the limited magnetism.

  Weapon Thoughts

  I found the sandbox presented in the beta gave us a palette of useful weapons to work with. I saw varied usage of weapons amongst my own party members and the general populace. The reduced aim assistance (drag over a target) was notable and most welcome in my opinion - no longer did I have to fight to switch targets or have my aim hijacked on to a passing enemy.

  The magnetism seems to be balanced enough that we're not shooting around corners and that we're able to consistently hit. There have been times where I felt the magnetism was a little strong, I will Thrust and still die to the BR shot, but I think this may actually be a product of BR bullet spread or lag as I have seen the inverse situation occur just as much where I will be shooting someone and they will be able to Thrust out of the shot with no damage.

  The time to kill (TTK) is comparatively fast to take into account increased mobility. Anyone exposed out in the open for about two seconds is most likely going to find themselves riddled with bullet holes. Fortunately, it is quite possible to manage what are now called 'reversals' either by simply being a better shot or a better strafer (use that thruster pack!). I would not expect to win many 2v1 situations (where you come across two guys looking right at you) unless the opposition has very bad aim or situational awareness. This weapon sandbox is not designed with lone-wolfing in mind. I feel fine with the lowering of the TTK, I don't feel like paper - I just have to be very aware of my positioning relative to my own team. Fight one battle at a time.
Slayer Maps

Eden

  Weapons on Map (Estimated)
  3x BR, 4x SMG, 2x LR, 2x DMR, 4x AR, Energy Sword and Sniper Rifle

  With BR Starts
  Red Nest/Red Outside are the power positions to be in. If you're in the Tower or in Blue you're likely on the defensive. If you are in a full party and communicating
  well you can keep that side of the map locked down and you generally won't have any incentive to leave the area. Chances are the enemy attacking from blue
  will bring over the sword with them.

  With AR Starts
  It plays fairly well, definitely more movement and map flow compared to the BR starts. I counted three BRs on map, two of which are nearer the Red side.
  Chances are you will end up holding Red down again and will likely gain total control once everyone has a BR, it will be hard for the opposition to flip the setup.

  Strategy
  Get the sniper as soon as possible and keep getting it. From Red, if you time your thrust right you can fly straight through the window onto the weapon pad. From Blue,
  grab the BR on your way in and headshot everyone who was likely caught in some random grenade. Red has to be fast to get the sniper. Once that is out of the way
  simply hold Red/Red Nest until victory.

  Thoughts
  I enjoyed playing on this map. I found jumping from catwalk to catwalk quite fun and the dynamic cover on the outside is an interesting mechanic for fighting off attacks.
  There was one window I could not seem to jump out of, but that was the only problem I found.

Empire

  Weapons on Map (Estimated)
  6x BR, 4x SMG, 3x DMR, 2x AR, 2x Sniper Rifle

  With BR Starts
  Quite similar to Eden, really. You can pick either Red Outside or Blue Outside and lock it down. There's plenty of cover and ways to jump to safety and a great deal of
  BR/DMR ammunition around. The team on the defensive is probably coming from Tower or the opposite Outside. Watch these sight-lines with the sniper.

  With AR Starts
  Not much different from AR starts. There are six BRs all within easy reach.

  Strategy
  Snipe the people visible at Tower, snipe the people coming round the Outside opposite you. Keep hold of Red Base or Blue Base and you should have a pretty good
  time. Be sure to take down the opposition sniper ASAP. Usually seen peeking out of the Tower mere moments after the pick-up.

  Thoughts
  This was the first map I played on, at first I wasn't sure two snipers would work but it works out better than expected.
  I think an alternating sniper between the two sides would have mixed it up more. Or a shotgun on one side and an energy sword on the other.
  The middle parkour routes open up a lot of ground pound possibilities!

Orion

  Weapons on Map (Estimated)
  2x BR?, 2x DMR?, Hydra, Sniper Rifle, Energy Sword

  With BR Starts
  If you spawn Blue, I just recommend punching your way through to the Hydra and Sword. Pick up that DMR on the Blue roof and give your team-mate some cover fire
  whilst he snags the Hydra. Red has an easier time of securing the Red side with the Hydra on it, so I think Blue may be at a disadvantage here overall.
  Once things shake out, if your side didn't get the Hydra you want to have the Sniper to counter it. BRs will generally restrict movement to both sides staring at each other
  from Red and Blue.

  With AR Starts
  With this, you will have more movement options available.
  Again, Blue side have one guy provide covering fire with the DMR and have another guy run in to get the Hydra.
  Blue can be much more aggressive in their push across to Red - knowing that they won't be shot to pieces by four BRs.

  Strategy
  Hold Red, with the Hydra. If you have the Sword and the Hydra up there in Red it's a very difficult setup to break. BRs or no BRs. The Hydra is an absolute Demon on
  this map and you can mortar bomb Blue all day long. See that sniper over at Blue? Just get a lock and shoot skyward, he has no chance.
  If you have the Hydra and happen to be on Blue - you can shoot directly into Red House if you gain a lock and shoot 90° out to sea.

  Thoughts
  For me, this map is defined by the Hydra. Being so open, the Hydra is just incredibly lethal.
  If the enemy team isn't working to make sure the Hydra is in their hands or at least not in ours; they're going to get splatted by rockets from all over.
  Also, that Sun is too bright!

Pegasus

  Weapons on Map (Estimated)
  2x BR, 2x DMR, 2x LR, ?, ?, Rocket Launcher, Sniper Rifle

  With BR Starts
  Hold Red Base/Upper Shelter and Blue Bend/Sniper. If you can hold both of these sections it is very hard to lose.
  The opposition will be forced to spawn across the other side of the map with little chance of obtaining power weapons.

  With AR Starts
  You have much less control over Red Base/Upper Shelter in particular. All you have for ranged engagements is a Light Rifle.
  You may spend time dipping into the Blue side to snatch up precision weapons. I could only ever seem to find a couple of BRs and DMRs.
  Perhaps there are more but I did not spend time in the lower sections. Expect to have your setup flipped more often.

  Strategy
  Two Spartans in Red, two Spartans by the Sniper. This will force unfavourable spawns for the opposition. Sniper should watch rockets when the timer comes up to
  prevent sneaky grabs. Looking over rockets toward Blue you will often have people spawn right in-front of you.
  This can lead to some instant spawn deaths for the enemy.

  Thoughts
  Spawn system seems a little broken on this map. I am sure that will be fixed if this map makes it into the final release.
  Pretty unremarkable map with lots of areas I didn't feel incentivised to travel toward.

Regret

  Weapons on Map (Estimated)
  4x BR, 4x DMR, 2x LR, 4x AR, 3x SMG, 2x Magnum, Hydra

  With BR Starts
  Chances are everyone's going to run for the Hydra. Coming around on the side of the enemy and shooting them from the flank is a great opener.
  Designate one person to collect the Hydra. Movement should be pretty constant on this map - even with the BRs,
  there's a lot of cover and the circular nature is an incentive to keep moving.
  Once you have top-mid control you should be able to jump into fights anywhere pretty quickly (perhaps even with a ground pound!).

  With AR Starts
  Slower and messier start. Get that BR right infront of your spawn and go on the flank immediately.
  There's generally enough precision weapons around that AR starts don't have too much of an effect mid to late game.

  Strategy
  Not much to say. Get top mid and call out when you see people.
  If your team has a good selection of precision weapons it will be hard for the opposition to take you down.
  Get atop the structure for the best vantage point but be cautious of the Hydra.

  Thoughts
  Hydra is not too useful here I have found - there's too much cover and fights are at a fairly close range.
  I did not like this map at first but grew to like it after learning the routes around the map.
  Personally I like to stay out of the bottom and ignore the Hydra. Blue team can be a little bit invisible inside of the bases.
  This map does set up a lot of great ground pound opportunities.
Truth

  Weapons on Map (Estimated)
  5x BR, 4x DMR, 3x SMG, 2x AR, Energy Sword

  With BR Starts
  Being exposed for more than a few seconds is pretty much instant death with BR starts.
  If you can control top-mid you will be in a strong position to slay but this will be difficult to maintain with BR starts.

  With AR Starts
  Map movement is largely the same with AR starts. You will keep circling the ring.
  There are plenty of BRs and DMRs around so being out-ranged will not be an insurmountable problem.

  Strategy
  Hammer and Anvil tactics if possible.
  Intercept an enemy circulation at either Big Tower or Pink Tower by having two run into the tower to pin them and two thrust-jump top-mid
  from the base windows to bring down the hammer. Energy Sword is useful but not instrumental.
  The sneaky is a good spot for a quick ground pound on enemies running out of R1/B1.

  Thoughts
  This map has the cleanest call-outs of all the maps in the beta. That's not unsurprising though given the previous incarnations.
  It's not a huge map, you can cross from end to end in a short space of time which leads to some very practical flanking manoeuvres.
  This is a map best played with a full party. During the beta Blue had a natural advantage of blending into the background!

Slayer Map Thoughts

  I personally found the 4 non-forge maps to be a lot of fun; Orion and Pegasus on the other hand seemed awkward and were not quite as fun to play on. Regret and Truth seemed to have the most map movement and flow where-as Eden, Empire, Orion and Pegasus were characterised by holding down a certain area and maintaining control over it in my experiences. Eden, Empire, Regret and Truth had strong aesthetic identity which I appreciate - perhaps some of the most visually interesting maps in the series (well, maybe not Eden). On the performance side of things I did run into some frame rate issues on Pegasus and Regret but they were minimal and ended quickly, the rest of the maps ran smoothly with no issues for me.

  The spawn system could use some work and I assume it will be much better in the retail product. The spawning system performed poorly on Regret and Pegasus in particular, on Regret I have had people spawn literally behind me in a base and on Pegasus I saw people spawning down my sniper scope multiple times. The spawn system did not seem designed with Strongholds in mind either.

  I would love to see people making well timed and executed flanking manoeuvres on the 'control' maps (Eden, Empire, Orion, Pegasus), a few times my own team was able to do this, on Eden in particular, and it was very rewarding. The key is to use the extra mobility afforded by sprint to (in the case of Eden) sprint down the catwalk whilst one or two of your team are distracting them on the Outside. This can be brutally effective when employed correctly and punishes a strong setup.

Breakout

  I played a number of Breakout matches during the beta period, usually with a party of 4. This gametype did not feel as rewarding or fun as I thought it would. It is highly susceptible to lag (like SWAT) which is a bit of a drawback when you're playing with international friends - dedicated servers or not. With the lack of shields everything is hyper-lethal and it did not feel like I had a chance to really enact any semblance of strategy. I saw in 'The Sprint' that this gametype was envisioned as a sort of Chess match with opening gambits and so-forth but the fragility of the individual Spartan works against this. Not bad as a SWAT variant but certainly not as strategic as it was made out to be.

  I enjoyed the aesthetic of Trench and Crossfire but perhaps the blue should be black? It makes it very hard to see the Blue team depending on where they are. It was difficult to get a handle on the map locations as the location display seems attached to the radar which ceased to exist in this mode for obvious reasons. The Spartans were calling out the locations but it was hard to gauge exactly where those locations were.

  Personally I would like to see a variant of Breakout with each Spartan having an Overshield and the ability to hold only one weapon at a time. The shield would never regenerate once damaged and there would be one power weapon on each side of the map (Sniper or Rockets perhaps). You would elect one member of your team to use the power weapon and it would be up to you to defend this team member whilst they do enough damage to reduce the Overshields. This would lead to some pretty interesting strategical and tactical engagements I believe!

Strongholds

  This gametype seemed to be very early in the stages of development. I feel it perhaps worked better on Regret than Empire but that is not really saying much. It seems like this gametype would be better suited to some slightly larger maps. It actually seemed harder to win as a party of four at times, we would kill the entire enemy team and they would spawn on a point and immediately capture it - surely it should not work like that? There was also a great amount of framelag surrounding the 'generator' models but I am assuming that is merely a beta issue. I hope to see Strongholds more fleshed out in the retail product.
Matchmaking & General

  Public Chat
  Kinect! The Kinect has almost certainly assured I will not engage in public chat if I can avoid it. During my time in the beta when playing solo I heard domestic arguments, grocery lists, random burping, racist epithets and all manner of strange things from people who did not realise the Kinect was on.

  Dedicated Servers
  The dedicated servers worked very well. My party is usually made up of people across multiple countries/continents and the dedicated servers gave us some of the most lag free gaming we've experienced so far. Of course there was lag from time to time but it was really minimal compared to our group playing on the old peer to peer system.

  Spectator Mode
  This worked very well for being so early in the development cycle. Of course there were bugs with the camera getting stuck, that weird zoom-in bug and pausing stopping your audio from working for the rest of the game, but other than that, it was great to finally be able to spectate live matches. I am hoping they expand the spectator mode to show a 'tactical' top down view with markers where players are so you can get a sense of map movement and how players pick their engagements. This is no substitute for theatre, however, so I would like to see theatre return over a spectator mode - given the choice.

  Competitive Skill Ranking
  The ranking system seemed robust and fair. I am not quite sure why losing a rank would show as something like +-78, but that may be a bug. When we had a party that was something along the lines of two Onyx a Silver and an Iron we would generally be matched with Gold and below opponents and we would hardly lose. The rating increase from this was minimal as expected but possibly open to exploitation if someone were to grind all day with a couple of friends playing on not legitimately Iron accounts. My friend (Onyx) would sometimes do almost identically to me in a match but receive less exp again but that may be due to some hidden True Skill algorithm in the background. Playing solo understandably lead to huge losses in standing emphasising that this rank is not your individual rating as such but how well you play in a team environment. The CSR is entirely based on whether you win, so you must play as a team to move forward!

  Sometimes the skill matching was suboptimal but I assume this is because the system wants us to play as many matches as possible and there is a compromise between finding perfect matches and finding timely matches. Of course the biggest standing increases were when we fought against Semi-Pro laden teams and those were hard fights. I did almost break into Semi-Pro but unfortunately we did not have the right mix of skill levels in the party to attract more Semi-Pro/Pro matches. I did not see too many Pros but those I did see would quit out at the matching screen or would quit games in progress. Not sure if there was some exploit going on there or not.

  Spartan Callouts & Weapon Timers
  These feel like positive additions. The people that I played with were very able to quickly pick up on map specific callouts from the Spartan chatter. The Spartans calling out generally helped us be a more focused group, remembering to call out enemy positions and anticipate enemy movements. Once we got good at the callouts for a particular map we appeared to tune out the general chatter of the Spartans. The chatter is not a bad thing however, it keeps you mindful of the approximate location of your team mates at all times. My partner in particular was easy to pick out since she was the only one on our team with a female Spartan. I was glad to see universal callouts apply to the forge maps as well.

  The weapon timers really help to keep a team aware of what positions they should be in. You do not want to stray far from the power weapon and this helped the less battle-tested players in my party remain mindful of power weapons and where to expect enemy incursions. That poor guy that sits behind teams with his stop-watch (I hear they have apps for it too) may be out of a job, but this is for the best!

  Killlcams
  I almost forgot these existed! I do not really like the kill cams that much, it is somewhat interesting to identify how you died (if you're suddenly blam'd it can be quite disorienting). However, most of the time I just turned them off (pressing X on my control scheme halted the kill cam and gave me back the old 3rd person cam).

Closing Thoughts

  My partner and I and those who regularly partied up with me had a generally positive experience. It was the most fun and refreshing experience I have had in Halo since my Halo 2 LAN days. The new movement options, aesthetic and other tweaks are better than anything I could have hoped for in the series. From the moment I started playing with the Thruster Pack in Halo 4, I knew I wanted more... and here it is!

  Tactically, this game reminds me a lot of Reach. There's no ordnance coming to make you into a Spartan shaped Deity. In Reach we would often find a spot to control near a power weapon and start slaying and defending from there. In Halo 4... this did not exist due to the ordnance system and general survivability of each Spartan. I welcome the return of power positions to the series.

  This beta displayed a solid foundation for the core mechanics in Halo 5 and I am excited to see what will be available come the retail release. I am hoping to see the return of Ricochet, some gorgeous Big Team Battle maps and a slew of vehicles to go with it!

Thanks for reading.

Appendix

Matches on Eden, Empire, Orion, Pegasus, Regret and Truth.
Halo 5 gameclips (filter to Halo 5)

For those that partied up with me during the beta, I would appreciate it if you would leave your feedback and experiences too.
You and I have similar thoughts about the beta, besides that I have to add:

I didn't like too much the TTK thou, I would like may be half or one more second.

I was hoping for FFA in order to use the small maps with different approaches but it didn't happened.

And the last one was the weird bugs on the ranking system, sometimes I performed very good but received just 3-20 points, sometimes I was awful and got 90-something, sometimes I got penalized with -10 to -19 when I was on the loosing team but got the highest score on the game by 10 kills or more, and another time I received a strange "98+-" score, so did I more or less performed well?.
I agree with your thoughts on Shoulder Charge, BR,SMG and Grenades, shorter explosion time would definitely be nice, maybe adjusting the way they come out of the spartan or something among that, since I keep getting these shot out of my hand and exploding on my face!

I'd also think an option to perhaps toggle off shoulder charge would be useful, many times I could have killed someone with a back smack but I get launched into space because I wasn't really thinking about shoulder charging I just wanted a regular melee while I was sprinting towards a foe.

With that said this was a nice read,and a good feedback.
I agree with just about everything Good Job man Great read
I've played with SepheusIX many times in the beta, and I have to agree with him on pretty much every point made. It's a proper step up from Halo 4, and I honestly find myself dismayed that I can't clamber or thrust as easily in Halo 4.

Spartan Callouts are DEFINITELY something to keep. I feel more alert and focused being able to hear little snippets of chatter from my teammates.

I would like to suggest that for Kinect users, when entering the match making screen, implement some sort of popup/notification that makes the player aware that the Kinect is ON and that other people in public chat can HEAR the environment the Kinect is in. Because yeah, that's just a huge deterrent from public chat. I really don't want to hear somebody arguing with their spouse/partner/roommates about whatever, I don't want to hear a group of really high teenagers being...well yeah. Give them a notification that the Kinect is on, and give them an option in that notification to turn it off/switch to headset/turn off or mute public chat. The rest of us sincerely don't want to hear them, and I'm sure most people don't want strangers over the internet to hear them either.

Most of the maps need some sort of lighting adjustment. Either it's too dark and Blue team blends in like crazy, or the scenery is way too bright (sunlight, etc) and is absolutely blinding.

The Lightrifle could use a teeny tiny speed boost when doing the zoom animation. I'm talking a teensy itsy bitsy adjustment. Fraction of a second. Needs to match the fastpaced gameplay feel, but not zoom crazy quickly to give over-advantage.

I have honestly never used Ground Pound. I barely also used the Slide function. It may be that I simply need to adjust to a better control scheme, but on default I found the button layout annoyingly difficult to use either one of these - so I simply did not bother. If we could do custom control schemes, or at least make groundpound something like "Hold A down while in the air" instead of the stick, that would be so much better in my opinion. Shoulder Charge is also a bit off. More than once I've sprinted behind an enemy and am trying to get a fast back whack kill, and ended up charging into his shoulder and nudging him away from me. OR completely missing somehow, getting disoriented, and ending up killed because I didn't want to shoulder charge to begin with. It's very difficult to damage, and/or kill opponents with that ability.

Grenades are a bit wonky, but I can't really say what is 'off' about them beyond what is in the original post about the grenades. They need tweaked, ever so carefully, because they're just not done baking in the oven yet. I've had more grenades shot in my hand in the beta, and explode in my face, than any other game I have ever played.

Spectator Mode I wish I had played around with more! There are the obvious issues that need fixed, getting stuck on objects and ledges, the HUD being present as if you are a Spartan, and some other little things like the audio. I also feel like, for proper spectating, ESPECIALLY for tournaments, there should be several "fixed" camera positions you can default to as well as free cam. Put these positions in good viewing areas to see Spartans from a slightly top-down view, and watch how they move/interact in key map areas. As Sepheus suggested, put a full top-down view in so you can see the entire map top down, and watch what's happening like you're in a spectator box! You could also have two on opposite sides of the map, also top-down, but only focusing on half the map per each one, so it is a bit larger and easier to switch to where the action is for fights breaking out over power weapons in that area and such. Make the spectator mode actually FEEL like it has proper E-sport spectation/camera defaults and options.

I will post more as I think of things. :)