By ske7ch -
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing context, high level information, and helping to prepare you for the upcoming Halo 5 weapon tuning test. The 343 team is putting the final pieces in place and things will officially get underway next week with the release of a game update for Halo 5! (Update 9/6 - The weapon tuning test is now officially underway!)
Today, we’ll dive into everything in as much detail as possible and walk through the plan, timing, logistics, and specifics of the tuning test along with when, where, and how players can participate in this exciting process.
If you missed it, on August 3rd we spent some time talking about the road leading up to this update, and some background on why this is taking place two years into Halo 5’s lifespan. You can go back and read more in this blog post, but the most important part – the WHY – can be boiled down to two primary goals:
- Revitalize and re-balance the Halo 5 sandbox to a more desirable state
- Establish/strengthen unique roles for each weapon and reduce role redundancy
The 343 Sandbox Team has been pouring over nearly two years’ worth of game data and feedback to help inform a variety of adjustments and tweaks to various weapons (and one power-up) in Halo 5. Following a great deal of internal playtesting and iteration, we’re now readying to release these re-tuned weapons to the wild to get game data and player feedback to determine the final results.
One of the most important components through this entire process is that the players themselves (you!) have a role and voice in helping to shape the final outcome. This is your game as much as it is ours, and touching a sizable swathe of the sandbox is not something the team takes lightly. And it’s important to note that this update is relevant to all players and playlists, not just competitive – once finalized, these changes will be updated throughout the entire game (Campaign, WZ, and Arena).
While we genuinely hope and believe that these changes are all for the best and will ultimately make the game better, we also realize that not everything may work out as we intended or garner the type of player response we’re hoping for. As such, it’s important to us that this plan allows for iteration so the team can react to feedback and make adjustments. The team can have all the data and best intentions in the world, but if a change ends up not working out as we’d hoped, it’s not getting shipped, plain and simple.
This doesn’t mean that we expect every player to love every change – with a game and community as varied and nuanced as Halo 5, it’s just not going to be possible to make everyone totally happy all of the time. Some folks may not like certain changes, while others may think some of these changes are great.
The team’s job (which isn’t easy!) is to wade through all of that feedback and sentiment, compare and contrast the subjective with the objective data, and land on changes that satisfy our goals and have an overall positive impact to the game and community.
What about campaign and warzone?
The weapon tuning test is being conducted solely within Halo 5’s Arena, but once completed, the re-tuned weapons will be updated across every mode of play. While it would be great to facilitate a large-scale public test spanning all of Halo 5’s game modes, it’s unfortunately not viable on a technical level. The 343 team has been extensively testing the re-tuned weapons across Campaign and WZ and will be paying extra special attention to the impact of these changes in Campaign & Warzone once the update is released in November.
name that tune
There are currently twelve items in the Halo 5 sandbox being re-tuned and rolled out in the public test this month. That’s not to say there may not be more / different changes at later date – for example, the team is looking at grenades as well (particularly Frag & Splinter Grenades) - but for the purposes of this tuning test, these are the sandbox items that will be adjusted.
To help ensure that player behavior, feedback and data is “pure” and unbiased, we aren’t digging into the exact tuning details and backend numbers of each weapon change. In general, each of these items is being tuned in ways that help re-balance the overall Halo 5 sandbox to a more desirable state while also helping to better establish the intended unique role each weapon plays.
Here’s the list of everything that’s being re-tuned in the Halo 5 Weapon Tuning Test: