This week's update is up.
I'm really impressed by the Matchmaking changes announced. Stop for a moment and have a think about the scale of changes being implemented for the new additions.
Firefight is being completely overhauled. We now have three very separate modes. The Limited playlist gives the purist fans what they want whilst the Arcade list gives folks plenty of assplosions. Each of these playlists have a good variety of modes to indulge in with more incoming in the near future. Score attack is being overhauled too, by resetting the leaderboards, it gives them a chance to gives us more single player content. No longer will busting Grunts heads be the only alternative to straight up solo Firefight.
If you are a Firefight fan, whether or solo or in a group, is this wintastic.
What I think is the most intriguing here is the slicing up of Invasion's core mechanics into new gametypes.
Firstly, they have taken one of the best mechanics of Invasion, Fireteams, and introduced those into regular Team Slayer modes. I have always loved bro-op spawning and I'm glad they have found a way to separate it from Invasion. Notice how they haven't also brought it into Objective gametypes? It's clear that bro spawning could easily break Objective gametypes (suddenly one guy near your Flag becomes an entire team!) so it's smart of them to exclude it.
Secondly, we can now have a Spartans versus Spartans or Elites versus Elites only Invasion slayer. That means no more strict advantage due to random initial species selection (unless you vote for it). By removing the timers and vehicles from the Invasion territories, they should now function similar to generic power weapon spawn locations that we're traditionally used to having around maps. Although I do hope this doesn't mean map power weapon spawns every other second or otherwise we're looking at a chunky salsa-fest.
I also hope this means that in future (please!!) that we can untangle score-progression loadout unlocks from Invasion. This is a pipe dream, but having this feature available for plain old Slayer and Objective matches would certainly lead to some interesting gameplay changes. (Imagine, relegating certain Armour Abilities to certain times during a game, like in the final few minutes or during a late game tie in objective, a proper game changer as it were!)
If this wasn't enough (and it is!) we have Multi-Team shaken up considerably, Objective modes added to SWAT and Grifball returning with extra maps. Oh and Community Slayer with ten, ten fricking new maps to play in. And as far as the community maps go, that's the tip of the iceberg.
With sweeping changes like this and the strong support of new content (from the community and future DLC), I am a happy Halo fan.
Edited by Slightly Live, 04 February 2011 - 04:33 PM.