As any proficient Halo player knows, the radar is essential to exercising skill on the field of combat. It allows players to anticipate their opponent's moves in order to adjust their own. There have been many posts about this, but I felt the need to elaborate in a single post why the current reduction from 30m to 18m is a terrible idea for all players, of any skill set. I also believe more posts overall will help get the point across, and hopefully promote positive change.
Currently, the 18m range is virtually useless for the type of fast paced gameplay Halo 5 delivers. By the time you see a red dot on the radar, more often than not your enemy is already gunning at you or in visual range. In other words you might as well not be looking at the radar at all. If you're like me and used the radar a ton in Halo 1-4, it seems that 9 times out of 10, using the Halo 5 radar the same way you used Halo 1-4's radar will likely get you killed.
The dots / blips are way too small, and the colors (light green and light red) are so pale that they end up washing together. You really have to look and pay close attention to find a tiny pale red dot, which the speed of Halo 5's gameplay doesn't allow.
I want to take time to quickly address 343's reasoning behind the change, because it bothers me even more that this was their thinking. I believe none of the following points made by 343 are valid for keeping it at 18m:
For starters, there's a contradiction within the first two sentences. You say "players of all skill levels relied too heavily on it", then in the following sentence you say "lesser skilled players never looked at it." Which is it? And what does "whether or not they looked at it" have anything to do with the range itself? Maybe lesser skilled players hate all radars, regardless of the range. Maybe lesser skilled players hate concentric circles of all kinds. Either way, this is not a great starting point to change things.
Quote:"We felt that this negatively affected the game for a few reasons, but the big one was that players of all skill levels relied too heavily on the big radar range. Lesser skilled players never looked at it, the higher skilled players always looked at it, and the top level players did both as they quickly learned the maps and understood where everyone was by a quick glance at the radar. So we’ve decided to drastically reduce the range of the radar down to 18 meters. The radar has now become less of a motion tracker that sees through multiple rooms and is now more of a combat tracker that promotes engagement.If someone shows up on your radar, they are REALLY close and a fight is about to go down. This is something that we feel is in line with our equal starts philosophy where everyone at all skill levels and competition will be playing the same game."
Second problem--as I'm sure any military tactician would tell you, radars aren't built to "promote engagement." They're built as a tool to help the user make a calculated decision on whether or not they want to retreat or engage, based on the speed and direction of other objects. If the radar can't anticipate the speed and direction of an enemy before they're in visual range, give the player a few seconds to think about it, then engagement could be (and often is) happening regardless.
Right now the radar isn't a tool at all, it's just a distraction.
My third and final problem. The final sentence makes absolutely no sense. Players are playing the same game, regardless of how long the radar is. If you gave one player an 18m radar and another a 30m, arbitrarily, players would obviously be playing a "different game". But they aren't. The only thing you've made equal is now NO ONE looks at the radar, either because 1) they don't know to, or 2) because they know doing so is both useless and dangerous.
To conclude, I've played Halo competitively from the CE days it was only available over LAN. The radar has always been one of the essential tools one uses to defeat their opponents--and it should be. Whether or not your average player is smart enough to use it is just as much indicative of the skill set as whether or not they choose to boost in-game to avoid weapon's fire. The more advanced players shouldn't have to suffer to give the less advanced a better chance at winning.
This is another way of saying that how players use the tools you provide them shouldn't really be up to you, 343, because the liberty at which tools you use at which time in Halo is part of what has made Halo diverse and fun, regardless of skill. Everyone has an equal shot at that, and that's what establishes skill! Instead, the game has gone from tactful to tactless. From intelligent, to dumbed down. From Halo, to Call of Duty-esque. And that's not the philosophy behind Halo.
Halo started as "Combat Evolved." This is combat regressed.
If I weren't at work, I would cry at how beautiful this post is. You have hit the nail on the head, and it's not just the radar issue. Its a laundry list of issues that 343i has subsequently hit the "-Yoink- it" button on and just blatantly ignored the fans.
Is it pride? Is it knowing that the first two titles to be released by the Studio is only comparable to today's shooters and would be laughed out the room if Halo 1 and 2 were still relevant?
I think a major reason why the studios insist on "level" playing fields and almost silence in response to the criticism is essentially the generation, or age gap among players now.
The amount of under 18 year old players is growing in the community and with that, the demand for high quality is replaced with "now, now, now." Well now you have it, a piece of -Yoink- that will be here for another 2 years. If they killed off Master Chief it would make leaving this series so much more easier, the only incentive to actual play Halo anymore is to "finish the fight" or "finish 343i creative-less team's image of what that fight should be."
I forget I'm just a consumer, I have no value.