I would like to propose a solution for a certain balance change that was made a long time ago to nerf the power of the pistol in Halo 2 Classic
. It used to be a reliable and decent weapon, specially when dual-wielded. The amount of fun and diverse combinations it could create were amazing, while preserving consistence. As far as I know, that wasn't true anymore when that patch arrived. However, that balance update (which also changed the power of some guns) was surely rushed and wasn't too tested from my experience.
The fact that said version of Halo 2 Classic arrived to MCC has made the Magnum not trustable at all, even when combined with a Plasma Rifle or a Plasma Pistol. A concrete dual-wielding combo with the SMG was also nerfed to the point dual SMGs are entirely better. These issues are most notable when spawning in FFA with a secondary pistol, or in Fiesta, where it's overshadowed by anything and dual-wielding Magnums is a mere improvement to an already lackluster and frustrating gun. On the other hand, I'm not exactly aware if the Needler had its reliability changed, but outside of host, its effectiveness is random, even with heavy leading, pacing and understanding of the bullets travelling. Using surfaces to your advantage with it barely works; if anything it can annoy a covered enemy. Spawning with an SMG, instead of a BR, hasn't really made those weapons any better.
Nevertheless, these little sandbox balancing concerns could be easily improved for the better, without meaning new issues with the rest of the weapons. Relying exclusively in luck and randomness is not good, specially when talking about precision weapons, not even in a casual environment.. Just make three simple changes across all gamemodes (includes Slayer and Objective in both, Social an Ranked games):
- Disable the Magnum pistol spread. This will make it consistent, reliable and fun to use. Paired with that, using one alone at least won't give you a random chance to get the last headshot, in games like SWAT. At least, make it spread in a pattern like its CE counterpart (the faster you shot, the more spread is increased). These adjustments would need to be applied to dual-wielding as well, to keep everything similar to the original Halo 2.
- Make the amount of shots to kill equal to its magazine (12, as it's meant to match the BR bullets damage), or expand its ammunition count to 13 (the current amount of shots to kill, if I'm not mistaken). Remember, the pistol is a sidearm by this game standards, but that doesn't mean it can't have an understandable learning curve and deal decent damage without having to recharge it, making it completely useless against a BR or Carbine. A gun should always be able to kill without having to recharge, the current situation doesn't make sense at all.
- Increase the projectile speed of the Needler to make it a stronger and more useful version, and to not be limited to the stretch tunnels (such as the Beaver Creek ones). Let Midship truly shine with variety. Also, try to fix its hit detection outside of host.
I believe we could make an overall better version of Halo 2 Classic by following those steps, while still keeping its awesomeness and unique traits. Not only that, it would certainly make it closer to the true multiplayer experience it wanted to be, and remove that feeling of rushed development. Don't forget the mentioned weapons are pickups for the majority of times, so there shouldn't be major differences in the general feeling of the gameplay.