I'll start off by saying, from what I've seen of Halo 5: Guardians so far, it looks like 343 are heading in the right direction, and are listening to the fans. I am hoping this post will be noticed by 343 and aid them in the game design.
For me, the reasons for people disliking Halo 4's multiplayer had been a complete mystery, until I invited an old friend to play matchmaking with me. As we played he pointed all of the little things he didn't like, and I wrote them down on a list... no, really. His exact words were: "It's a good game, but it's not a good HALO game". I'll try to keep this as short as possible, and will add some suggestions of my own. If anyone reading this also has any ideas, feel free to leave them as a reply.
- Halo 4's multiplayer is too competitive oriented. This makes it difficult for newcomers to get into the multiplayer and they may become frustrated at their lacking experience and leave before they hone their skills. There were no playlists for people to just relax, where you just played the game, and your stats and game results didn't matter.
Solution: Social playlists. Playlists where your rank and other stats are unaffected with nothing recorded. This will make it more light-hearted and provide practice for inexperienced players.
- In Halo 4's matchmaking, the game "starts", then there's a UNSC logo, then loadouts, then a countdown. In Halo 3 the game started as soon as it was loaded which I think everyone would prefer.
- On smaller Halo 4 maps, there are a lot of enclosed spaces (e.g. Adrift and Solace) where if you get double teamed... well, you're dead. The maps need to be more open with more paths in and out of different areas. This will give players more options for a "counter offensive". More cover would also help counter this.
- "Say, you remember Halo 3's Bungie favourites?", "Yeah man, that's where I found Fat kid, Ice cream man, Duck hunt, Jenga, Predator, Halo, Cops 'n' robbers, Sky fortress, and a whole load of cool maps".
Halo 5: Guardians and the community would definitely benefit from an easily accessible in game-feature where players can find the latest and best creations. It doesn't have to be "343 favourites" it could be a community features matchmaking playlist. If a playlist or feature like this was updated regularly, there would always be something new and fresh to draw people back in.
- In previous Halos, you needed to go out of your way to get power weapons on the map. In Halo 4, you just pressed a button and they were given to you. Giving power-ups to players who are doing well? Really? If the power-ups are on the map, anyone could get them, a newbe could pick up a rocket launcher. This would make the games more balanced and fairer.
- Let's be honest some of the armor in Halo 4 was ugly and ridiculous, all they did was take up disc space. If the armor doesn't look good, you don't HAVE to put it in the game. An idea that I had was to unlock decals for your armor, or even make your own and place them wherever you wanted on the character model; maybe put them on file share. Forza's decal editor has produced some excellent results, so give Dan Greenwalt a call if you're reading this 343.
- Don't just take features from C.O.D. and bolt them into a Halo game. Halo needs to be unique or people simply won't have any reason to play it, it will just become "Call of Duty: Future Warfare". My friend said that he found the in game scores that pop up distracting from the gameplay. I personally don't have a problem with these, so maybe have the option to turn them off. I also find when it takes more time and effort get a kill it's more satisfying.
- Finally, Halo 4's new music is good, but you can't beat the classic theme. Perhaps Marty could better his previous work, wink wink, nudge nudge.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, it was hard work for me too