343 shares what they’ve learned from the Halo 5 beta
These days, most betas are really just glorified demos. But the Halo 5 demo was different. Released a full year before the full game launches, it was a true work in progress, meant to test what worked, and what didn’t. Now that it’s over, 343 Industries is sharing what they’ve learned, and what changes they’re already making. Read on for the details.
To say that Halo 4 wasn’t universally loved would be a bit of an understatement. The many changes made to the game’s multiplayer, which some believe were meant to make Halo feel more like Call of Duty and Battlefield, didn’t sit well with the Halo faithful. 343 Industries has promised that Halo 5 will be a return to form for the series, with more emphasis on the things that made Halo multiplayer so special to begin with. To prove it, and to get as much feedback as possible as early in development as possible, they released a multiplayer beta back in December, which ran through mid January. You can check out my impressions of the beta here. For the most part, it was well received by fans, but that doesn’t mean it was perfect.
In a blog post over on the official Halo website, Executive Producer Josh Holmes talked about what they learned from all of the player feedback they’ve collected, and what changes they’re already making to Halo 5. The whole thing is well worth a read, but I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes version of what’s being changed already in the bulletpoints below.
- 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.)
- 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
- 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
- The intro and victory sequences will be far less bro-tastic.
COMPETITIVE SKILL RATING
- Improved skill detection during placement phase
- Improved skill matching
- Improved team balancing
- Prevent skill boosting
- General bug fixing & tuning
- 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
They also released this handy graphic which shows off some of the impressive numbers racked up by players in the beta. Only one Killpocalypse? I could’ve gotten a few, if I wanted to…
While there’s still no firm release date for Halo 5, the game is scheduled for a launch sometime during the 2015 holiday season.