Teabagging Returns In Halo 4

Master Chief is back in Halo 4. So is the needler. And so is teabagging. The most famous and notorious act in Halo multiplayer, the crouching of one player onto a defeated player to simulate a simulated sex act, is back.

But the people at 343 Industries who are making Halo 4 don't call it "teabagging". They call the move a "victory crouch." But there's a twist!

Yes, 343's David Ellis told me, players can still crouch and therefore can still teabag, "if they so choose it.

"However if you're the other player, you now have the option of not seeing them do it."

If you teabag me in Halo 4 but I don't see it, did you really teabag me? I say no.

This is what's changed: In some Halo 4 multiplayer modes, including the game's points-driven competitive multiplayer mode called Infinity Slayer, players can just press X to respawn. No waiting. No watching their corpse being victory-crouched-upon.

"If you're playing with your friends on your couch you can definitely customise this stuff to, say, extend the victory crouch window," one of the game's lead multiplayer designers, Kevin Franklin told me.

Halo 4 is 343's big re-think of the Halo franchise, a many-years-in-the-making gambit to restore the Halo series' slightly faded glory. With a re-think comes the opportunity to add and subtract. As I talked to the 343 guys last week at the Halo 4 booth at E3, I realised that 343 couldn't just take crouching out of the game and therefore they couldn't remove tea-bagging (I mean, victory crouching) even if they wanted to. Right, guys?

In case you don't know, here's a montage of Halo 3 teabagging.

"It's an important part of the combat experience," Ellis said. I think he was referring to regular crouching, not victory crouching. But who knows?

"The Halo sandbox lets players do so much," Franklin said, "And that's just one of the things people have found."

OK, he was definitely talking about victory crouching.

Sure, people love the victory crouch, I told Franklin and Ellis. But some people think it's the kind of thing that encourages the immaturity that can spoil online gaming.

"That's one of the reasons you can do the instant-spawn stuff," Ellis said. "You don't actually have to see it."

"If you're playing with your friends on your couch you can definitely customise this stuff to, say, extend the victory crouch window."

But even that instant-respawn option, Ellis and Franklin maintained, was first and foremost a gameplay thing. "It was to get people back in action fast," Ellis said. They didn't want people lying dead in the map for too long. It's just not fun that way.

The pacing, the spawning, the map flow all fits together to define the experience, Franklin added. Plus, 343 has been crunching data and realised that he wanted to keep more players alive at any onetime in a match. "It gets asked a lot: ‘Is this 8 on 8? 4 on 4? How many players are in a match? But when you really look at the data, what really matters is how many people are living at any time? So in a 10-player game is that 7.2? 8.3? How can we change our spawn-times?" The goal isn't always to have the number as high as possible, but 343 doesn't want you running around the map solo or dying as soon as you re-spawn.

Ellis said he now finds himself strategically waiting to respawn in the game's new Regicide mode, to give himself a breather and to wait out the spawn time to reduce the chance that other people can score kills on him during the time of the match.

"But I'm a crazy person," he acknowledged.

While he's waiting, victory crouches may be occurring. It's just part of the game.

Halo 4 will be released for the Xbox 360 on November 6.


Comments

    I'd love it if all Spartans were equipped with an explosive in their helmets that activates after death....and after two presses of enough weight (ie another spartan/elite) it explodes and kills anything near them... :P

    "Part of the game" is the weakest argument. That's like saying treating women like dirt and telling them you want to rape them in Street Fighter is "part of the game". Oh wait, some people actually did say that!
    The only real reason why people do it is because they can get away with it. If they couldn't then pretty much every negative action and comment in online gaming will stop.

    I have a better solution. Make it so that if someone repeatedly crouches over a corpse then an icon appears over his head on everyones HUD until he dies. Meaning the player can teabag if he wants, but will have his location shown to everyone at all times.

    How about about it's a funny action to do between mates that gets a few laughs or annoyed grunts, which can be taken online and done against strangers who don't give a flying fish unless they are angry mistreated females or angry insecure males. I've been teabagged plenty of times, and guess what? I didn't give a **** because I was too busy being a mature adult who was playing a video game and having fun. If you have such misguided issues with this you should be spending your time seeing a therapist instead of playing video games.

    That Warthog hump goes well with the music lol

    i'm thirty and dick and fart jokes are still funny. Humanity needs to grow a funny bone if this isnt funny anymore.

    Though many would rightly be quick to point out that this doesn't apply to all forms of insults, teabagging is only a problem if you let it get to you.

    I mean how someone can be offended by it, I'll never know...

    I don't have a problem with teabagging, I wouldn't mind a beverage between spawns to be honest....

    People who get angry about being teabagged are just immature and uncomfortable with their sexuality
    "Oh If I laugh at getting teabagged people might think I like it IRL" oooooooooo

    Excited for Halo 4, I want balls in my mouth when I die....dirty necrophiliacs

    Reminds me of Straight outta blood gulch from Pure Pwnage episode 15: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRFOqDa8RIM , R.I.P. Troy Dixon ( T-Bag )

    I really don't see the appeal of teabagging, but if you want to do it, go ahead, yes you bested me in the online battlefield, by bouncing your data nuts off of my data face, all you're doing is not watching the battlefield itself, good show.
    This whole spawn when you feel like it, or something similar, sounds an awful lot like CoD to me, which is a dangerous path to follow 343. If you're not careful you'll be adding in kill streaks and customisable weapon sets and suddenly it will be Halo 6: Post-Modern Warfare. It also sounds like a cheap way to get intel on enemies, in certain game modes. Have a player (with a guest account) run their guest account in to the base and die but not respawn so you can see the enemy position. I assume the 3 second counter would still be in effect, but I've been wrong before.

    I hope 343 doesn't go down that path since it's one I, personally, won't follow.

      Um...they've already added both of those things, sadly. You have power weapon drops at your location due to kill streaks and customisable weapon sets similar to CoD (you even seem to unlock weapons for this as you level up).

      I know. I'm as disappointed as you are.

    I love teabagging.

    It's infantile, I understand that. But highly enjoyable when it starts an all out teabag war. Teabagging FTW!

    ... And this is a selling point?

    Every1 should also check out the shiny mk v figure at nycc

    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/10/sexy-silver-spartan-will-be-at-new-york-comic-con/

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