This is your periodic reminder that AR starts are still in Halo 3 for some bizarre reason even though they had the good sense to get rid of SMG starts in H2/H2A. There is no meaningful difference between AR starts in Halo 3 and SMG starts in Halo 2. None. Zero. Zilch. They are two underpowered bullet hose with the effective range of about 10 feet that would still be ill suited to the task of being a starting weapon even if they were buffed because Halo's core gameplay inherently favors versatility. In fact the game demands versatility off spawn to prevent the game from snowballing.
Get rid of AR/Pistol starts in Halo 3 and keep BR/AR as the standard. If you can justify removing SMG starts you can justify removing AR starts using the exact same reasoning. Either you believe auto starts are bad for the game or you don't, half measures make no sense here.
This time I have to agree with you; if they somehow "justified" removing SMG starts from Halo 2, then the same should be applied to Halo 3. As I see it, given that AR starts doesn't even provide dual-wielding capabilities, it's not worth it. I'm not keen on half measures either. They're the same guns but with different ammo and an overpowered melee damage in case of the AR. I've get used to BR + Auto starts and they offer versatility at the cost of variety on the low ends of the sandbox; you can defend yourself in whatever situation you're thrown at and I recently started to like that. Plus you still can take advantages of being able to combine that secondary weapon for close range encounters or fast kills (BR starts only are really awkward in my opinion and they actually darken the weapon usefulness, this can be clearly seen in H2A Objective gametypes as for some reason they decided to remove the secondary slot, and taking into account that the gun effectiveness in its own is laughable, picking them up doesn't make sense...) so that you avoid their weak nature on their own and use them in a useful, tactical and coordination rewarding way, which is dual-wielding. Otherwise, you're going to be killed for making that decision.
However, I'm not opposed to the idea of splitting up Slayer and Slayer Pro in the Match Composer for that matter, Auto starts still force you to make you think quickly and out of the box to get reliable weapons and important spots to have a chance to survive in a risky place. Obviously they would have to be exclusively in close scenaries that support them and precision weapons shouldn't be offered (maybe just 1 Carbine or 1 BR) so that it's an easier combat environment for newcomers (but I'd improve the loadouts with the Pistol and the Silenced SMG
, trying them only in H2A firstly
and after that in H3 and finally H2C for a casual and balanced experience); after that, when you get used to it, you should jump to the full version with any kinds of weapons and range fights that prevent you from running into the outside mindlessly. In addition, think of it as a way not to lose that small part of the community (also it's a way where new players can play the game without being overwhelmed) in an already small playerbase, that will eventually migrate to BR + Auto playlist when they improve and demand more competitive situations, unless it works really well and they love the new concept. If unfortunately it doesn't get people and doesn't fill its purpose, throw it into Action Sack and leave it for Custom Games, but at least give it a chance. I'd even add a 1.5x zoom to the H2A Pistol in a balance update.