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H2-H3's aiming. Aiming difficulty.

OP l Atomic Pain l

As I've played Halo 2 and Halo 3 for many many years, OG H2 version-X360 H3 version, and XB1 MCC version, i've been feeling as if the two games have a difficulty scale of how smooth or sticky the aiming is. To try and kill the confusion, i'm gonna say that I feel like Halo 2's aiming is almost really smooth (because of some factors of sorts) while when I play H3, it seems that the aiming in the game whether it's aiming from the hip or scoping in, it's harder to get a accurate flow of aiming the crosshair towards your target because I feel like I have to put more force on the controls to get something to work. Let me know what you think, do you think there's a scale of difficulty of aiming between the two games? If so, why? And lastly, which of the two games do you possibly find the hardest to aim in considering the factor of the set sensitivity?
There are a number of possible reasons why you feel the aiming is different across the different games and versions.

From a technical perspective, Halo 3 on 360 suffers from bad frame pacing, which can create stuttering in certain scenario's and increase controller response time. Likewise, it also drops frames on occasion, again causing slower response times in your controller (the above is based on Digital Foundry's Halo 3 analysis). Both H2X and H3(360) target a 30fps lock so, provided both are running at a stable 30fps with good framepacing (33.3ms frame delivery), the games should feel relatively similar outside of any controller latency issues like that which you see in Killzone 2. Since I've not played H2X in a while, opting for the 1080p60fps I could get on H2V and later MCC, I can't remember how consistent H2X is with both framerate and frame pacing. It is important to note as well that some people are not as sensitive to these changes and may not even notice it whilst others will feel the difference almost immediately.

Another reason that could make you feel the flow of aiming is different is down to the view model. Halo 3's FOV appears to be lower, with weapon models taking up considerably more screen space when compared to H2X. I personally feel a lower FOV and the more 'zoomed' feel from Halo 3's weapon models can make Halo 3's aiming feel different but this is often down to preference as you will see PC gamers tend to argue over what the ideal FOV is. I prefer a higher FOV so the less zoomed out style of Halo CE and Halo 2 suits me more whilst the lower FOV in Halo 3 makes things more difficult.

Furthermore, the way aim assistance and bullet magnetism is handled between Halo 2 and Halo 3 is completely different. Halo 2 has a rather large amount of aim assistance and there are videos out there that document how the bullets actually curve toward the player (bullet magnetism), so long as the cross hair is relatively near the player model. It's not as extreme as I make it out to be, but it is there. Halo 3 on the other hand, has a less aggressive amount of aim assistance and as far as I remember, no bullet magnetism. This can again make Halo 3's aiming feel more difficult as it is more down to the player as the game is not helping as much. This isn't to say Halo 2 requires less skill, it merely means the game will feel different although I would argue Halo 2 is more accessible, both Halo 2 and Halo 3 are difficult to master.

Finally, the way projectiles are handled across the two games are different as well. Halo 2 uses hitscan for most of its weapons i.e as long as your cross hair is red and on the player model/hitbox, as soon as you fire your weapon, damage will be instantly dealt with bullets merely being there for show. Combine this with bullet magnetism and the aim assistance and Halo 2 will feel more responsive than Halo 3. Halo 3 on the other hand for most of its weapons, opts for a projectile based system, whereby bullets/plasma has to travel and hit the actual target, which can cause you to miss (think BR spread). This may cause the game's 'aiming' to feel off but it is simply a different style to Halo 2. Going from one and immediately to the other can be quite jarring.

Regarding Halo MCC however, the games are running at 60fps with a mostly consistent frame pacing (16.6ms). That said, changing a 30fps game that was designed for 30fps into 60fps can (though not always) create some issues. In Halo 3's case, hit registration has some issues. Melee sometimes doesn't register in Halo 2 (inherited from H2V from memory), weapon fire rates can increase (Carbine fire rate is far higher in H2V and MCC than H2X) etc. Regardless, it's likely the hit registration that would make aiming feel different here as 60fps should give you a far quicker response time.

To give credit where credit's due, MCC is not the only game where going from 30fps to 60fps has caused these issues. Dark Souls on PC when modded to run at 60fps can have physics glitches, such as sliding down a ladder can make you fall out the map. Jump distance is reduced and the 'invincibility frames' you get when rolling are reduced, making dodge rolling more difficult. Spider-Man (2000) on PC also has similar issues going from 30fps to 60fps.

It's impossible to say which of the above is most causing you to feel the aiming is different but I personally believe it to be a combination of those factors more than anything. I hope this helps you.
I personally find it hard to control things on consoles as I am more accustomed to a mouse/keyboard layout. Though, I would say that I find it harder to aim in Halo 3 than Halo 2.
There are a number of possible reasons why you feel the aiming is different across the different games and versions.

From a technical perspective, Halo 3 on 360 suffers from bad frame pacing, which can create stuttering in certain scenario's and increase controller response time. Likewise, it also drops frames on occasion, again causing slower response times in your controller (the above is based on Digital Foundry's Halo 3 analysis). Both H2X and H3(360) target a 30fps lock so, provided both are running at a stable 30fps with good framepacing (33.3ms frame delivery), the games should feel relatively similar outside of any controller latency issues like that which you see in Killzone 2. Since I've not played H2X in a while, opting for the 1080p60fps I could get on H2V and later MCC, I can't remember how consistent H2X is with both framerate and frame pacing. It is important to note as well that some people are not as sensitive to these changes and may not even notice it whilst others will feel the difference almost immediately.

Another reason that could make you feel the flow of aiming is different is down to the view model. Halo 3's FOV appears to be lower, with weapon models taking up considerably more screen space when compared to H2X. I personally feel a lower FOV and the more 'zoomed' feel from Halo 3's weapon models can make Halo 3's aiming feel different but this is often down to preference as you will see PC gamers tend to argue over what the ideal FOV is. I prefer a higher FOV so the less zoomed out style of Halo CE and Halo 2 suits me more whilst the lower FOV in Halo 3 makes things more difficult.

Furthermore, the way aim assistance and bullet magnetism is handled between Halo 2 and Halo 3 is completely different. Halo 2 has a rather large amount of aim assistance and there are videos out there that document how the bullets actually curve toward the player (bullet magnetism), so long as the cross hair is relatively near the player model. It's not as extreme as I make it out to be, but it is there. Halo 3 on the other hand, has a less aggressive amount of aim assistance and as far as I remember, no bullet magnetism. This can again make Halo 3's aiming feel more difficult as it is more down to the player as the game is not helping as much. This isn't to say Halo 2 requires less skill, it merely means the game will feel different although I would argue Halo 2 is more accessible, both Halo 2 and Halo 3 are difficult to master.

Finally, the way projectiles are handled across the two games are different as well. Halo 2 uses hitscan for most of its weapons i.e as long as your cross hair is red and on the player model/hitbox, as soon as you fire your weapon, damage will be instantly dealt with bullets merely being there for show. Combine this with bullet magnetism and the aim assistance and Halo 2 will feel more responsive than Halo 3. Halo 3 on the other hand for most of its weapons, opts for a projectile based system, whereby bullets/plasma has to travel and hit the actual target, which can cause you to miss (think BR spread). This may cause the game's 'aiming' to feel off but it is simply a different style to Halo 2. Going from one and immediately to the other can be quite jarring.

Regarding Halo MCC however, the games are running at 60fps with a mostly consistent frame pacing (16.6ms). That said, changing a 30fps game that was designed for 30fps into 60fps can (though not always) create some issues. In Halo 3's case, hit registration has some issues. Melee sometimes doesn't register in Halo 2 (inherited from H2V from memory), weapon fire rates can increase (Carbine fire rate is far higher in H2V and MCC than H2X) etc. Regardless, it's likely the hit registration that would make aiming feel different here as 60fps should give you a far quicker response time.

To give credit where credit's due, MCC is not the only game where going from 30fps to 60fps has caused these issues. Dark Souls on PC when modded to run at 60fps can have physics glitches, such as sliding down a ladder can make you fall out the map. Jump distance is reduced and the 'invincibility frames' you get when rolling are reduced, making dodge rolling more difficult. Spider-Man (2000) on PC also has similar issues going from 30fps to 60fps.

It's impossible to say which of the above is most causing you to feel the aiming is different but I personally believe it to be a combination of those factors more than anything. I hope this helps you.
I feel greatly educated! Thank you for the wall of enlightenment!
Furthermore, the way aim assistance and bullet magnetism is handled between Halo 2 and Halo 3 is completely different. Halo 2 has a rather large amount of aim assistance and there are videos out there that document how the bullets actually curve toward the player (bullet magnetism), so long as the cross hair is relatively near the player model. It's not as extreme as I make it out to be, but it is there. Halo 3 on the other hand, has a less aggressive amount of aim assistance and as far as I remember, no bullet magnetism. This can again make Halo 3's aiming feel more difficult as it is more down to the player as the game is not helping as much. This isn't to say Halo 2 requires less skill, it merely means the game will feel different although I would argue Halo 2 is more accessible, both Halo 2 and Halo 3 are difficult to master.
I think you did a pretty good job of addressing the differences between aiming the two games. However, I'll point out for sake of completeness that Halo 3 does actually have bullet magnetism on most weapons (as seen here and here). The exceptional weapons are the sniper weapons (Sniper Rifle and Beam Rifle), which have no observable magnetism.

Also, something you didn't mention is aim acceleration, i.e., how the turning speed depends on the stick deflection. This relation generally isn't linear, and varies from game to game. It obviously affects how the aiming feels, and it's a great candidate for a reason as to why the aiming in Halo 3 in particular feels kind of strange.

Yet another aspect that could be different from Halo 2 to 3 is input lag. There's an inherent lag in how long it takes for the game to receive input and translate them into actions. If my memory serves, it's about four frames for Halo 3. Whether it's different for Halo 2 I don't know. In any case, it was a relatively hot topic a few years back.
Halo 2 and Halo 3 are a bit different, in their own right. When it comes to playing either one on MCC, it's completely different.
tsassi wrote:
Furthermore, the way aim assistance and bullet magnetism is handled between Halo 2 and Halo 3 is completely different. Halo 2 has a rather large amount of aim assistance and there are videos out there that document how the bullets actually curve toward the player (bullet magnetism), so long as the cross hair is relatively near the player model. It's not as extreme as I make it out to be, but it is there. Halo 3 on the other hand, has a less aggressive amount of aim assistance and as far as I remember, no bullet magnetism. This can again make Halo 3's aiming feel more difficult as it is more down to the player as the game is not helping as much. This isn't to say Halo 2 requires less skill, it merely means the game will feel different although I would argue Halo 2 is more accessible, both Halo 2 and Halo 3 are difficult to master.
I think you did a pretty good job of addressing the differences between aiming the two games. However, I'll point out for sake of completeness that Halo 3 does actually have bullet magnetism on most weapons (as seen here and here). The exceptional weapons are the sniper weapons (Sniper Rifle and Beam Rifle), which have no observable magnetism.

Also, something you didn't mention is aim acceleration, i.e., how the turning speed depends on the stick deflection. This relation generally isn't linear, and varies from game to game. It obviously affects how the aiming feels, and it's a great candidate for a reason as to why the aiming in Halo 3 in particular feels kind of strange.

Yet another aspect that could be different from Halo 2 to 3 is input lag. There's an inherent lag in how long it takes for the game to receive input and translate them into actions. If my memory serves, it's about four frames for Halo 3. Whether it's different for Halo 2 I don't know. In any case, it was a relatively hot topic a few years back.
Thank you for adding to that as well as correcting me!

Didn’t have too long to write the post as I had a plane to catch (literally) but yeah, completely forgot about the input delay. The PS3 version of Battlefield 3 had it due to Anti-Aliasing although TV response times can probably affect this as well. I use a 1ms response time monitor but I know alot of TV’s tend to average around 15ms+.
tsassi wrote:
Furthermore, the way aim assistance and bullet magnetism is handled between Halo 2 and Halo 3 is completely different. Halo 2 has a rather large amount of aim assistance and there are videos out there that document how the bullets actually curve toward the player (bullet magnetism), so long as the cross hair is relatively near the player model. It's not as extreme as I make it out to be, but it is there. Halo 3 on the other hand, has a less aggressive amount of aim assistance and as far as I remember, no bullet magnetism. This can again make Halo 3's aiming feel more difficult as it is more down to the player as the game is not helping as much. This isn't to say Halo 2 requires less skill, it merely means the game will feel different although I would argue Halo 2 is more accessible, both Halo 2 and Halo 3 are difficult to master.
I think you did a pretty good job of addressing the differences between aiming the two games. However, I'll point out for sake of completeness that Halo 3 does actually have bullet magnetism on most weapons (as seen here and here). The exceptional weapons are the sniper weapons (Sniper Rifle and Beam Rifle), which have no observable magnetism.

Also, something you didn't mention is aim acceleration, i.e., how the turning speed depends on the stick deflection. This relation generally isn't linear, and varies from game to game. It obviously affects how the aiming feels, and it's a great candidate for a reason as to why the aiming in Halo 3 in particular feels kind of strange.

Yet another aspect that could be different from Halo 2 to 3 is input lag. There's an inherent lag in how long it takes for the game to receive input and translate them into actions. If my memory serves, it's about four frames for Halo 3. Whether it's different for Halo 2 I don't know. In any case, it was a relatively hot topic a few years back.
Halo 3 certainly feels like it has quite bad input lag even on Xbox 360 compared to Halo 2 which always felt sharp.
tsassi wrote:
Furthermore, the way aim assistance and bullet magnetism is handled between Halo 2 and Halo 3 is completely different. Halo 2 has a rather large amount of aim assistance and there are videos out there that document how the bullets actually curve toward the player (bullet magnetism), so long as the cross hair is relatively near the player model. It's not as extreme as I make it out to be, but it is there. Halo 3 on the other hand, has a less aggressive amount of aim assistance and as far as I remember, no bullet magnetism. This can again make Halo 3's aiming feel more difficult as it is more down to the player as the game is not helping as much. This isn't to say Halo 2 requires less skill, it merely means the game will feel different although I would argue Halo 2 is more accessible, both Halo 2 and Halo 3 are difficult to master.
I think you did a pretty good job of addressing the differences between aiming the two games. However, I'll point out for sake of completeness that Halo 3 does actually have bullet magnetism on most weapons (as seen here and here). The exceptional weapons are the sniper weapons (Sniper Rifle and Beam Rifle), which have no observable magnetism.

Also, something you didn't mention is aim acceleration, i.e., how the turning speed depends on the stick deflection. This relation generally isn't linear, and varies from game to game. It obviously affects how the aiming feels, and it's a great candidate for a reason as to why the aiming in Halo 3 in particular feels kind of strange.

Yet another aspect that could be different from Halo 2 to 3 is input lag. There's an inherent lag in how long it takes for the game to receive input and translate them into actions. If my memory serves, it's about four frames for Halo 3. Whether it's different for Halo 2 I don't know. In any case, it was a relatively hot topic a few years back.
Halo 3 certainly feels like it has quite bad input lag even on Xbox 360 compared to Halo 2 which always felt sharp.
Another reason why Halo 3 felt strange aiming was because of my X360 analog sticks being old and sometimes stuck. Unlike the XB1 controller.