We're at the point in the argument where we've established abilities are contributing to more possibilities. This means it can only be complicating things, and your argument stems from whether or not the abilities go too far. But isn't it noteworthy that the older games were also competitive? Were those games less competitive than the current one? Certainly not, I would say.

Sprint not making things overly complicated and Halo 5 being less competitive than some of its predecessors are not mutually exclusive. Neither are sprint not making things overly complicated, and sprint being detrimental to gameplay. I mentioned in an other post that there are better arguments against Spartan Abilities than how they impact predictability. I think the effect on predictability is a weak argument both for and against sprint.

While I can't confirm the exact point, it should hold some relevance that we've only added more options to consider, and whether it is too far or not, is pushing towards that boundary of unacceptable. If we had a formula that worked, why add additional factors that move gameplay towards that tipping point at all? That's what I want to know.

On a purely theoretical level: because it

*can* make the gameplay better. In practice relating to Halo? I'm confident this discussion we're having has very little to do with the actual decision making process circa 2009 when Bungie was considering armor abilities in Reach.

**4)** I agree, and a lot of points get lost in the fluff of online forum posts, which makes it frustrating to hold an online debate anyway. Anyone can enter the debate at any time, without reading the previously stated points, which can be frustration to restate over and over. So I ask, what is your definition, at this point in the argument, of competitive? Haven't we established that adding decision making factors hurts gameplay the more prevalent they are? So now the question is, do the abilities go too far? Based on the classic games, I would say yes. They were simplistic enough, yet within reason, unpredictable. To me, that is the sweet spot. Not with all the abilities. Especially in regards to ease of use.

As you wish, I will define competitiveness here in a way that in principle should allow one to determine between two games which one is competitive:

*The competitiveness of a game is the average performance difference between two teams*.

Then I need to explain what that means, and why it is a good definition. So, imagine you take 200 people at random who know the rules of chess, and the rules of tic-tac-toe. You divide them randomly into pairs, and put each pair to play 100 games of chess, and 100 games of tic-tac-toe (and you alternate between who gets to start each game). Then for a given game, for each pair, you record the difference of how many games they won (e.g. if for one pair the other player won 67 games and the other won 33, then you get 34 as the difference), add all these differences up, divide by the number of pairs, and you get an average difference. You compare these averages between the two games and conclude that the game with the higher average difference is more competitive.

Consider what happens. Chess is a very skill based game, and you expect that in a random sample of people there are players of varying skill levels. So when you randomly pick the pairs, you'll expect that some pairs end up in a situation where one player totally dominates the other. These players drag the average difference up. Then, consider tic-tac-toe. It's a very easy game where players pick up very fast what's going on. This is why you will have lots of games ending in a tie or alternating between who wins, meaning that in the end most pairs will likely be near 50/50, giving you a very low average performance difference. So, you conclude, correctly, that chess is a more competitive game.

The definition seems to match our intuition, but of course I can't know for sure. I also note that you should be able to replace "performance" with "skill" if the games have a proper skill rating system (and the system needs to be the same for both games), and in this case you could do a much more sophisticated evaluation based purely on the skill distribution. I also mention that we really ought to be talking about the average of the square of the differences divided by twice the number of players, but that'd require more discussion on probability theory.

But, as you see, this definition says nothing about the gameplay, as it shouldn't, because it should be universally applicable to any games. This brings up the practical problem of discussing about which game is more competitive. When we talk about these things, we mostly rely on our intuition about what makes a game competitive, but it's ultimately very difficult to show that one game truly is more competitive than another.

**5)** That is what this whole debate is about. Sprint, but abilities in general. I said abilities stack, and by that I mean, slide-boosting acts as an additional sprint function within sprint. From BMS, you click 1 button to sprint, then while sprinting, you click 2 more buttons, and are traveling roughly 3 times faster than BMS.

In terms of jumps; I sprint and thrust-jump off an edge, stabilize, GP charge, and thrust again. This makes it possible to cross incredible distances with relatively no difficulty.

I wouldn't consider predictability to be the problem with being able to move huge distances in short time. The problem has always been that when you allow this, the player can be more careless with their positioning. They can put themselves out in the open and get away with it. They can be on the wrong side of the map and move to the right side in little time. It's the importance of good positioning that's at much bigger risk here than how difficult it is to predict the player's movements. This is precisely what I mean when I say that there are better arguments against Spartan Abilities than their impact on predictability.