Splitting Halo's Multiplayer In Two Parts Is The Greatest Idea Ever

For the longest time Halo multiplayer had an identity crisis.

Was it a small, tight arena shooter like Quake? Was it a large scale warzone with vehicle combat like Battlefield?

Porque no los dos?

Why not both? That always seemed to be the attitude of Bungie and (later) 343 Industries. That the smaller, competitive Halo could coexist with large-scale multiplayer Halo and everything would be a-okay. On some level that worked, but as times moved on it started to become pretty clear: Halo's once dominant multiplayer needed a divorce.

Halo's reputation as a competitive game was suffering. But its ability to provide those 'wow' moments, to compete with the scale of games like Battlefield, was also in decline. Worse -- finding a way to make both work in tandem with the other was leaving both experiences bloated and inconsistent.

Halo 5's solution, for my money, is a good one.

That solution is Warzone. A large scale multiplayer mode that throws all caution to the wind. It takes Big Team Battle and pumps it full of adrenaline, pushing it to a tremendous scale. To use an burnt out video game phrase, it's 'epic'. But epic in ways that Halo's old Big Team Battle modes couldn't be. Warzone is like Big Team Battle with the shackles of multiplayer removed. NPCs get involved, every vehicle you can imagine gets involved. It evokes the scale of -- say -- a Battlefield or even a Battlefront but does so in a way that makes sense within the Halo universe.

Best of all, it allows Halo's traditional mode to evolve into something that makes sense in today's climate: a proper eSport. Back in the day Halo was probably the premiere console game on the eSports scene. As an eSport Halo peaked around Halo 2 or Halo 3 but has been in decline ever since. Removing the Big Team Battle aspect, and placing it into its own brand new basket with Warzone, allows Halo's traditional multiplayer to become the core eSport it was always destined to be.

As someone who loved the competitive aspect of Halo's multiplayer and simply tolerated the other stuff, Warzone is the solution to my ongoing issues with Halo's multiplayer. These two game modes, they're happier apart. They don't belong together. Slowly each has been stretching the other in strange directions. Now they've finally split into two distinct things and it's the best idea ever.

We're already seeing the result of the switch. Halo's multiplayer beta was ages ago but back then I was a little confused -- in a good way. I was surprised at how focused the game was on the competitive, eSports side of things. Everything seemed geared towards the type of Halo that I wanted to play. 343 were saying the right things, they had hired a team of ex-pros to help guide the process. It was the Halo of my dreams and I was happy with the switch, but curious: what about the other stuff?

Warzone is the 'other stuff'. When I saw the trailer for Warzone I understood instantly: this is not my thing. Warzone is not for me, but it's here to protect my interests and serve that group of Halo fans who like the other Halo. The 'Capture The Flag with all vehicles on Blood Gulch' Halo. I'm more of a 4v4 with Battle Rifle starts on Lockout guy.

Thankfully, with Halo 5, it looks like we're going to get the best of both worlds.


    Yeah Warzone looks cool - speaking as a guy who loves Battlefield over COD - but this Summer is Battlefront's to lose

    As the complete opposite of your tastes in Halo, I'm not so sure.
    Big Team and objective games may not have been the hyper competitive arena of Slayer but it was nonetheless still focused PvP. It was you vs other humans in achieving clear cut goals for a Win. Just with a wider range of tools and players.
    Big Team Objective would not make a good esport but you could definitely take it seriously and be competitive.

    But that Warzone clip... I not really sure what's going on there. It was less about players going head to head than fighting AI with the other team occasionally getting in the way.
    Competitive bot game more than a PvP match.
    Unless there is some sort of greater metagame involved I don't think I'd play it.

    Halo 5 is still not making me regret getting a PS4 over the Xbox One.

    It looks good, but it just doesn't have the look and feel of Halo any more to me. It's generic space shooter.

      Yeah and with the way COD is going, its getting hard to tell the difference between the two.

        Can't believe Gametrailers predicted this like, 5 years ago.

          I went off games for a couple of years, and came back to COD having jetpacks... I didn't know what had happened... i'm still kind of consfused lol

          I miss the days where COD leant towards the realistic, and halo was the out there sci-fi shooter. Halo is still kind of the same, but they've tweaked it so much now that its not the game that I fell in love with so many years ago

            Except now in Halo you can sprint and aim down the sights.

              Aiming down the sights is functionally identical to previous Halo games. Unlike CoD/BF/most shooters, it doesn't increase accuracy, it doesn't slow movement speed, and you descope after taking damage. After playing a lot of the Halo 5 beta, it is a lot less CoD-ish than Halo 4 was.

              TTK is still high, loadouts are gone, Armour Abilities are gone, map control is a thing again... where are the CoD comparisons coming from? Sprinting?

              Last edited 02/10/15 11:01 pm

                From Halo 5 beta test videos they showed that ADS does increase accuracy. Slow speed hasn't been an issue for years and I thought they made a big deal about how you do de-scope, because of the cries of the MLG player.

                TTK was shortened, I watched videos and saw a graph, most weapons killed at 0.6 - 0.8, which is in line with the CoD killtimes.

                  The accuracy increase was there in the beta but has been removed in the final build. And whoops yeah I meant to say you do descope unlike other shooters, including Halo 4. Can't comment on TTK except that it felt fine in the beta and definitely wasn't a whoever-shoots-first-wins situation.

                  edit: thoughts on those TTK numbers you've quoted. Weapons are stronger but aim assist has been dialled down, so perhaps there's some sort of balancing act happening there? I'm not sure. It just felt right in the beta to me. The whole thing felt very Halo, which was my main concern after 4.

                  edit 2 electric boogaloo: Only post-beta numbers I could find on TTK was 1.2-1.5 seconds. Don't know how accurate they are, but there's that.

                  Last edited 02/10/15 11:07 pm

      Agreed, back in the earlier 360 days I was massively into Halo 3 and would play religiously but everything after has for me, steadily declined and moved away from the game I loved. So much that I didn't entertain getting an Xbone at all.

    No, this isn't a good idea. Halo was always designed to work in all areas, provided you took more than 5 minutes staring at the options menu to work it out. The problem is that 343i never updated their game. Reach's problem is that Bungie was moving out and couldn't update the game and 343i threw all their eggs into one basket (being agreeing with MLG) so they didn't want to update the game. That's why people lost interest, they were pretty much playing the same gametypes on the same maps from day 1. The only update they really made was removing playlists.

    You could have had years of gaming tweaking new maps and gametypes. One popular BTB gametype one person created put more emphasis on teamwork as a Spartan Laser needed two shots to kill a tank, but if you shot the tank in the rear it would die instantly.

    The problem with esports Halo is that the people are playing a very different game to Halo. It started with a downward slope that when Reach came out the only gametype was, "No AAs! DMRs only! Final Destination!".

    The reason why Halo 4 didn't work is that on top of the whole game being a boring mess to play the game didn't have 'local only' connection options. So all games were a lag filled mess. I don't even KNOW what BTB was like because I couldn't play it.

    As for gaming 'Wow' moments, those Fail of the Weak episodes from Roosterteeth always got several million views during Reachs hey day (that number dropped once Halo 4 came out).

      Interesting to hear your viewpoint as someone who likes the 'other' part of Halo.

        Why do you assume that? It's not a binary system which can result in a 'Us vs them' attitude. I like all parts of Halo. Even if SWAT was one of my least favourite gametypes I still played it from time to time. If they added more gametypes to SWAT like a version with AR starts I might even jump back into it.

        My problem with Halo is the esports/MLG wannabees who refused to learn the game and instead just mimic MLG strategies (and attitudes) and try to force that gametype into all playlists. I once saw someone demand the DMR be placed in Infection maps (granted, you could probably create a gametype to have DMRs that are balaned against the Zombies, but with the basic rules it would be a slaughter). BTB was full of these people who loved spawn camping with Scorpions and Banshees to pad out their stats. Its influence over the whole game can leave many matches pretty stale and leaving people angry at the game. It's why after I dominate someone in any game I send an apology and give them tips on how to improve.

        I remember once not too long ago I jumped someone with a Plasma Pistol and started firing shots at mid range. His reaction was to do that MLG dance of tapping back and forth while firing his DMR. He lost because he was so used to DMR duels that it was his first reaction.

        Hell, I still get people mad at me because I once sniped a DMR spammer from across Hemorrhage with my AR.

          I didn't mean to 'other' you. Just meant it was a different perspective from mine and it was interesting to hear it.

          And yeah, you're right about the DMR and strategies and all that.

          I still think Forge world was the last great breakthrough that Halo made.

          Any changes since have only strengthened its likeness to every. other. shooter.

          Last edited 03/10/15 8:24 am

          Woah you are royally full of yourself Neo Kaiser. Cringeworthy read.

          Obviously too busy dominating players (in any game) to bother showing even the slightest bit of modesty in your post.

          Congratulations on the long range shot you did dude... Just, wow....

          Last edited 03/10/15 10:47 pm

        Classic Neo kaiser :) ️Hahaha , most of the halo community consider reach the pinacle of Halo apart from the reticule bloom.

        If Halo 5 beta was any Indication, 343 have truly improved on their first outing (halo 4) in so many ways, the weight of your heresy shall stay your feet ;)

          Reach the pinnacle?? Compared to 3, Reach was garbage. It was the beginning of Halo's decline.

    Watched both videos and it seems interesting watching them ride around in the warthog definitely reminded me of some of the fun I have had in the past playing capture the flag etc so it seems like this idea could work. One thing though is the warzone video kept reminding me of titanfall especially the start of the match. I like to have play either type of halo depending on my mood so including both but as two separate game modes is a step in the right direction.

    My only though is what will this mean for DLC will it be an even split of maps for each mode each type a map pack is released or will it be separate packs for each mode and will one mode ie warzone be left in the dust with very little new maps compared to the other mode?

    Still gonna take a bit more to get me interested in Halo again. Used to love it religiously, but am kind of just over it now

    I don't understand this at all. BTB was in it's own playlist, correct? Why do we need to replace it with a scaled down Destiny zone to "fix" Halo's MP? I don't understand the eSports mention either. If you don't want to play BTB...then..don't? How is it holding back any other aspect of the multiplayer?

    I'm sure they don't play infection or shotty snipers competitively, do we remove them too? Or do we take out all casual playlists and remove Forge while we're at it?

    Maybe I missed something, but I don't see how removing BTB and replacing it with whatever Warzone is supposed to be (it sure as hell isn't BTB) changes anything.

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