343 Industries used the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta on the Xbox One to gather real world feedback that they could not otherwise get through internal testing. The three week effort paid off, with nearly 20 million games played and more large amount of feedback from the community. The developer shared some of the changes to gameplay and weapons as a result on Thursday.
— Halo (@Halo) February 5, 2015
The Spartan Abilities in Halo 5 are one of the more controversial additions to the game’s mechanics, along with the ability to sprint. While sprinting and thrusters are here to stay, 343 Industries is going to give players an option to toggle the abilities on or off in custom multiplayer matches.
Additionally, the following changes are also being made to Spartan Abilities.
- Increase base speed (faster base movement)
- Increase strafe acceleration (faster, more responsive strafing)
- Reduce top sprint speed (narrow the delta between base movement and sprint)
- Modify Ground Pound controls to prevent conflicts w/ crouch jumping
- General tuning & bug fixes for all Spartan Abilities (Thrusters, Clamber, Ground Pound, etc.)
The ability to zoom via the new Smart-Link system with Halo weapons that traditionally did not have zoom is another controversial point for Guardians. This is something that is staying in Halo 5, but 343 Industries is making a few tweaks to the weapons that include giving zoomed in shots less power.
- Sniper Rifle: improve scope experience to making it less “clunky” and faster to scope
- DMR: adjust position of the scope to improve visibility
- Bring back the SPNKr Rocket Launcher as a legendary version of the weapon
- Reduce bonuses for automatic weapons in Smart-Link & w/ headshots
- Remove grenade detonation in mid-air based on weapon fire
- Ability to turn on/off vibration feedback for weapons
- General tuning and bug fixing for all weapons
The Halo 5 presentation is also receiving numerous tweaks. The pre and post-match hero changes will tone down the high fives and chest bumps. There are also other changes coming on some things that were noted in this beta impressions piece.
- Post-death replay: this will become an opt-in feature. After death, players will see a traditional follow-cam and have the option to view a replay of their death from the killer’s perspective (as long as the feature is enabled within the playlist)
- Medals: decrease frequency and number of medals displayed in the medal feed
- Spartan chatter: players will have the option to turn this on or off in the settings menu
- Adding highlights to placed/dropped weapons to make them easier to see
- General tuning for announcer and Spartan chatter to reduce the frequency of events and focus on the information that matters most to players
343 Industries is going to keep the Competitive Skill Rank system in place when Halo 5 releases, much the same way it was during the beta. Players will be rewarded for winning matches over individual skill. The developer is doing this to promote better team play over someone acting as a lone wolf the entire match to boost their kill number at the expense of the rest of their team. That said, there are still some tweaks coming.
- Improved skill detection during placement phase
- Improved skill matching
- Improved team balancing
- Prevent skill boosting
- General bug fixing & tuning
Finally, matchmaking will be improved in Halo 5 from the beta. Overall, the beta performed better than the troubled Master Chief Collection, but it still could use some tweaking. One nice feature being added is the ability to choose your preferred datacenter for matchmaking.
- Much faster matches
- Better skill matching
- Better feedback to players in the lobby and matchmaking experiences
- Allow players to set desired datacenter for matchmaking (may impact matchmaking speed and skill balance)Improved party vs party matchmaking
- Hide CSR ranks until in match to de-incentivize quitting
- Punish quitters with CSR penalties and matchmaking bans
What do you think of these improvements to Halo 5 based on feedback from the beta? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Halo Waypoint]