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Will Halo 3 be too complex?

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#1 phreak

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:31 PM

In another thread, someone was discussing how Bungie has been heavily testing Halo 3 from the beginning. And it is true and it is a great thing. But then considering it and some other things from the same thread, I have to wonder if Halo 3 is getting way too complicated for its own good. Think about it. Halo 1 was not a complex game. The core gameplay really only revolved around shooting weapons, throwing grenades, and meleeing. Vehicles weren't even destructible. And there were what, 9 weapons? It was just an extremely simple game that at its core was a blast to play and that was all that mattered. Then Halo 2 came along and they started adding things. Dual-wielding, vehicle boarding, destructible vehicles, target-locking rockets, new weapons like the carbine, beam rifle, energy sword. And did adding those features make the gameplay better? That is very debatable but I'm not sure it did. I do know that it made balancing even more difficult. If Bungie makes a dual-wielding weapon do too much damage, then it is overpowering. If they make it too weak it is absolutely worthless by itself. So we've got a lot of semi-worthless weapons in Halo 2 (needler, magnum, etc). And we've got several redundant weapons (beam rifle, carbine) that aren't used that much. And others like the plasma pistol which are generally used in an entirely different way than expected (not too many dual-wield it, they do the noob combo). Halo 3 seems to be taking this complexity even further. We've got all this 'x button' stuff, such as the bubble shield, grav lift, radar scrambler, mines, and whatever else they will throw in there. There are movable turrets, missile pods, new grenades, new weapons like the spartan laser, spike rifle, and others. And then new vehicles like the mongoose. I mean damn, if Bungie couldn't properly balance Halo 2, who in their right mind thinks they can adequately balance Halo 3 with so many features? More does not necessarily mean better, and it seems Bungie is really caught up in quantity over quality. I hope I am wrong about this, and that Halo 3 won't end up stumbling over itself (there was a game with almost the exact set of features of Halo 3 called Starsiege: Tribes, and it did pretty well), but I can't help but to wonder if the reason we all enjoyed Halo 1 is because it was a simple yet brilliant game. Is all this 'stuff' good for the franchise?

#2 Drew

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:50 PM

Halo 1 =/= Halo 2 =/= Halo 3. Bungie knows what they're doing. It'll be balanced just fine. And yeah, IMO, all of this "stuff" is great for the franchise. A lot of it was originally supposed to be in the first iteration, and in turn, the second. Everything that I've ever wanted to do in the Halo universe is now possible, and really, that can't be too bad of a thing, can it?

#3 Stan

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 12:56 AM

I actually have to agree with jesusphreak. It all sounds way too damn complicated. There is no way they can balance this. You can change damage, but you can't change basic functionality of a weapon/thing. A few of the equipment items just sound too over the top. Take the power drainer and radar jammer for instance. They best have short timers or else they will ruin it. The very idea of the power drainer just irks me. The plasma pistol was over powered, how the hell are they going to make the power drainer work. But you can also look at it from the perspective of making the game a sequel, not just a rehash of the last game. It would be inherently bad for the series if this was too alike to any previous Halo. I've been playing Halo 2 since 004, why would I want to play a really similar Halo 3 till whenever? Time also balances things. cSuck it up and get used to the changes, people find ways to defend themselves from different techniques, new tactics will arise. Bungie will also undoubtably alter it in about a year and a half anyway.

#4 mattacus

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 02:21 AM

I mean damn, if Bungie couldn't properly balance Halo 2, who in their right mind thinks they can adequately balance Halo 3 with so many features? More does not necessarily mean better, and it seems Bungie is really caught up in quantity over quality.


I don't think that they are consciously thinking quantity over quality--it's more like they are challenging the video game gods themselves in an effort to produce both quantity and quality. Ambitious, I know.

As for their balancing track record, these aren't the same guys, necessarily, who "balanced" H2. And besides, a plus side of making so much of the multiplayer customizable is that the fans will be able to balance it. If there are one or two weapons that overpower, we'll play without them. If you can't take it off the map, IV4N will be all, "Nobody use that Gay Sword that sticks up like a dick." And people will, for the most part, comply. Only assholes want an unbalanced game.

Edited by mattacus, 05 May 2007 - 02:22 AM.


#5 GhaleonEB

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 07:42 AM

If all Halo 3 added to the gameplay was more and different weapons/vehicles, I'd be deeply disappointed. Equipment strikes me as an excellent way to add another option to the combat, which I've pontificated about before. The smaller tweaks such as moving turrets are something I wanted in Halo 2.

I'm content to revisit this discussion in a week or so after we've played it.

#6 quickshade

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:15 AM

I think the main fact we have to look at is Bungie has been testing these maps since day one. They have been testing weapons from day one. they have been testing gametypes and play since day one. It has become obvious that the main goal was balanced and this is backed up by a few things. Number one being that Bungie said to 1Up if it's not balanced then it gets pulled. Bungie has clearly defined that balance is key and i think that will happen. Remember Bungie has the entire summer (the weekly update makes it sound like that game will be mostly finished by the end of June.) to fine tune the game and gametypes. Going by test dates and disc creating Bungie has anywhere from 6 weeks to 10 weeks of testing gametypes, They will have balance from what I have seen.

#7 mattacus

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 09:21 AM

I think the main fact we have to look at is Bungie has been testing these maps since day one. They have been testing weapons from day one. they have been testing gametypes and play since day one. It has become obvious that the main goal was balanced and this is backed up by a few things. Number one being that Bungie said to 1Up if it's not balanced then it gets pulled. Bungie has clearly defined that balance is key and i think that will happen. Remember Bungie has the entire summer (the weekly update makes it sound like that game will be mostly finished by the end of June.) to fine tune the game and gametypes. Going by test dates and disc creating Bungie has anywhere from 6 weeks to 10 weeks of testing gametypes, They will have balance from what I have seen.


We keep saying "balance" like it's the Holy Grail of multiplayer game design. But like in Last Crusade, the Holy Grail is different things to different people. Balance sounds good, but what is the result? Balance for Soccer Moms is a game they can pick up and play without necessarily getting pwnt. Balance for others is a game that rewards replayability, or one that limits skewed scores.

I don't think balancing the multiplayer should be the goal. I think the much loftier design goal of a game that is easy to pick up, yet rewards skill development, should be what we focus on during the beta, and not so much whether weapons are "balanced."

#8 vociferous

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 10:53 AM

"This ring isn't a cudgel, you barbarian, it's something else..." And I just got done telling Ivan that all of the threads complaining about Halo 3 multiplayer would come after the game shipped or at least after the beta. I was wrong; you guys are definitely and quite literally ahead of the game.

#9 mattacus

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:29 AM

"This ring isn't a cudgel, you barbarian, it's something else..."

And I just got done telling Ivan that all of the threads complaining about Halo 3 multiplayer would come after the game shipped or at least after the beta. I was wrong; you guys are definitely and quite literally ahead of the game.


Would you rather read commentary of a bunch of fanbois foaming at the mouth in unison? Whether or not the debate is applicable to the game, it's definitely more interesting to read than a sycophany of virtual yes-men endlessly singing the praises of a product that they haven't touched.

Well, I guess that's really the opposite of what we have in this thread, but that isn't necessarily what you are implying is the better option. Perhaps you want us all to be objective and even-handed in our speculation. But I think that that might be just as boring as being unanimously positive (or negative). The mix of whiners and ass-kissers (with the occasional sprinkling of troll) in any forum debate is what really makes it worth reading.

On topic, I, for one, like controlled (and uncontrolled) chaos in my games.

Edited by mattacus, 05 May 2007 - 11:31 AM.


#10 phreak

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 12:11 PM

"This ring isn't a cudgel, you barbarian, it's something else..."

And I just got done telling Ivan that all of the threads complaining about Halo 3 multiplayer would come after the game shipped or at least after the beta. I was wrong; you guys are definitely and quite literally ahead of the game.


Come on man, this is a Halo 3 discussion forum. We are here for discussion, good and bad. Nobody wants trolls and nobody wants fanboys. I don't think this thread is either; it is looking constructively at the possible negatives of complexity.

#11 NJ Shlice

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 12:17 PM

Come on man, this is a Halo 3 discussion forum. We are here for discussion, good and bad. Nobody wants trolls and nobody wants fanboys. I don't think this thread is either; it is looking constructively at the possible negatives of complexity.


This post seemed "Sassy" at first and I thought Voc was gonna slice your through, but I read it a couple times and I realized you make a good point. I dont think there is too much bitching and complaining.

But we are close to the breaking point.

Edited by NJ x Falk0r, 05 May 2007 - 12:18 PM.


#12 quickshade

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 01:24 PM

All the things you mention are part of balance. Bungie has made that clear. The stat system is a way of balancing people that are good at Halo and people that aren't awesome at halo but still play alot....that's balance. Balance is that I can't pick up a weapon and own mst people on the mp, Unless it's a power weapon and even so it's a battle to get the power weapons, more than that theres another weapon on the map that can counter that power weapon.......Balance this one still needs work and i hope it gets fixed but spawning and not getting shot up is important, but just as important is being able to defend yourself (AR baby) when under attack.......balance. being able to see your teammates and say there names, go though game data and find where you suck and where you don't, having a last ditch thing to stir up gameplay and many more.....that is balance. Of course I'll comment when i have played the beta, and again when the real game comes out.

#13 DualX

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 03:37 PM

You know, I find it funny that some of you guys are complaining at how complex the game seems to be getting. The more complex the game, the more skill needed in order hold your own on the battlefield. Splinter Cell's multiplayer started off fairly complex, and when it took a change on Double Agent, people complained at how "simple" the game was. I love variety, and only hearing how much stuff they plan on putting into the final Halo game in this story, really makes me excited. More strategy will be needed, and battles won't be as redundant as they were in the previous two games. I kinda look at it in terms of Battlefield 2 on the vast variety of weapons and equipment that is used within the game. The variety in the game made every battle a different one. Now with all of the stuff we've seen used in the (clear) videos so far, it really doesn't seem all that more complex. It really blends in with the gameplay from what I've seen. Halo 3 getting complex: Maybe. Halo 3 getting too complex for its own good: No.

Edited by DualX2, 05 May 2007 - 03:41 PM.


#14 Blamo

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 04:14 PM

You know, I find it funny that some of you guys are complaining at how complex the game seems to be getting. The more complex the game, the more skill needed in order hold your own on the battlefield. Splinter Cell's multiplayer started off fairly complex, and when it took a change on Double Agent, people complained at how "simple" the game was.

I love variety, and only hearing how much stuff they plan on putting into the final Halo game in this story, really makes me excited. More strategy will be needed, and battles won't be as redundant as they were in the previous two games. I kinda look at it in terms of Battlefield 2 on the vast variety of weapons and equipment that is used within the game. The variety in the game made every battle a different one.

Now with all of the stuff we've seen used in the (clear) videos so far, it really doesn't seem all that more complex. It really blends in with the gameplay from what I've seen.

Halo 3 getting complex: Maybe.
Halo 3 getting too complex for its own good: No.



I agree, I love almost everything that Bungie has added to Halo 3. Sure, it's complex, but instead of complexity I like to call it depth. Halo 3 is going to be a very deep game, gameplay-wise and story-wise. I like both, but with the way Bungie makes their games, I have no doubt it will be a good thing. Now, I might change my opinion about that after the Beta, but so far I like what I see.

Edited by Blamo, 05 May 2007 - 04:15 PM.


#15 GhaleonEB

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 07:14 PM

I wasn't going to comment further, but I was thinking about this topic today and had a realization. Which is: I simply disagree with the suggestion that Halo 3 is complex, on the basis of what we've seen so far.

It looks to me that ~95% of the time, the combat is going to play out exactly as it does in Halo 2 - though guns, grenades and m?l?e. The ability to carry a turret around adds a nuance - but it won't happen often. Deployables will be an infrequent factor (though important), and all they do is add nuance to how you combat someone. Bungie has added some weapons and vehicles to the mix (as we would expect them to do), and then movable turrets and depolyables. Those add a few more factors to think about and utilize, but that doesn't come anywhere near making the game complex.

Edited by GhaleonEB, 05 May 2007 - 07:15 PM.


#16 kon3cto

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 10:40 PM

In my personal opinion, yes, Halo 3 is becoming too complex for its own good. If Bungie hasn't learned their lesson in regards to balance, Halo 3 will be a mess. But, they've been working on this game for 3(?) years and change, you have to think (hope) that Bungie has addressed the issue of balance in that time frame. Plus, they have learned a lot of do's and don'ts during the development of H2. I hate to say it, but you have to trust Bungie on this one. And if they game is in fact not balanced, just take the shit out that makes it that way. Hooray for customization.

But, let it be known, that I will not be surprised if this game releases as balanced as a one legged man on a trampoline playing Halo 2.

#17 El Leone

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 02:40 AM

I wasn't going to comment further, but I was thinking about this topic today and had a realization. Which is: I simply disagree with the suggestion that Halo 3 is complex, on the basis of what we've seen so far.

It looks to me that ~95% of the time, the combat is going to play out exactly as it does in Halo 2 - though guns, grenades and m?l?e. The ability to carry a turret around adds a nuance - but it won't happen often. Deployables will be an infrequent factor (though important), and all they do is add nuance to how you combat someone. Bungie has added some weapons and vehicles to the mix (as we would expect them to do), and then movable turrets and depolyables. Those add a few more factors to think about and utilize, but that doesn't come anywhere near making the game complex.


It's important to stress this. Features such as equipment are not consistant within gameplay, they're rare and will probably only be used a small amount of times per game.

#18 Blamo

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 07:39 AM

It's important to stress this. Features such as equipment are not consistant within gameplay, they're rare and will probably only be used a small amount of times per game.



The equipment was just laying around in the Last Resort leak, and it was not very rare either, the guy died and it had respawned already, so he got it again. But then again that can change almost over night.

Edited by Blamo, 06 May 2007 - 07:40 AM.


#19 El Leone

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 08:47 AM

It'll probably be a controllable variable within the game types. Perhaps Frankie's comments to it being rare was more aimed towards the SP than MP.

Edited by El Leone, 06 May 2007 - 08:49 AM.


#20 vociferous

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 10:47 AM

Come on man, this is a Halo 3 discussion forum. We are here for discussion, good and bad. Nobody wants trolls and nobody wants fanboys. I don't think this thread is either; it is looking constructively at the possible negatives of complexity.

I'm not saying that the thread isn't constructively looking at stuff and I'm definitely not endorsing unabashed hugs and kisses. I've stated several things that bother me about what we've seen so far with Halo 3. I was being honest when I said that I thought negative topics would come up after the beta and I did, in fact, just get off the phone with Ivan only hours earlier stating the same thing.

My only point is that topics like "M6D inclusions being mandatory lest Bungie disrespect their fanbase" -or- "Halo 3 is getting too complex for its own good," are the type of topics that really should come after playing the game - not before. That they come before precludes the lack of bias I think we should approach a game of Halo 3's caliber with, considering the negativity some of you share about Halo 2. When I've complained about Halo 3, I've talked about water effects (which weren't final) and the location of the team chat function, things I know about and can reasonably comment on because I've played other games or seen footage that allows me to make that judgment.

Talking about the role of a weapon when we've only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the beta's weapon layout and haven't even played the game yet -or- discussing the greater complexity of a game in a series which hardly could have been called complex before seems like we're unconsciously preparing our chess pieces for the inevitable "Everything I Hate About Halo 3" thread...

I certainly don't have a problem with this type of discussion because it is elevated and skeptical (things I like), I just thing it's a little early for it. Once we play the game we can make statements which are backed by experience and not assumptions...



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