Let me begin with a little introduction, as this is my first post in the 343i forums.
I am a long-time fan of the Halo franchise. Since age 11 when my brother picked up a copy of Halo: CE from the local game store, I've been dedicated to the Halo franchise more than any other. From attending every subsequent Halo midnight release and beating every Halo campaign on Legendary, to ranking up competitively in multiplayer and playing on a few MLG Gamebattles teams, I've truly dedicated myself to the franchise in more ways than most.
I wanted to establish this to give credibility to the thesis of this post. I am no newcomer when it comes to Halo, and thus I feel this gives me some credibility to criticize the flaws I find incredibly irritating.
Now, obviously the past is in the past, and thus I will spare the criticisms of previous Halo installments (Halo: Reach would take me eternity to adequately criticize; aside from the story, it's arguably the worst game of the franchise, as the multiplayer was a complete disaster).
Halo 4 was supposed to be a resurrection for the franchise after Bungie drove it into the ground with Reach, and in some ways it is. 343 has done a great job bringing Halo back from the ashes in many ways. But I don't get online and create an account in these forums to praise the game, just as you don't call the McDonald's corporate office to praise how well of a job the cashier behind the counter did for you. I come here to vent and present my grievances. (Disclaimer: I do realize a lot of this is going to be just my opinion and not fact, though I still feel strongly enough about it to proceed.)
My first complaint is in regard to the rank cap. It's completely unfair that I have reached level 70 and can no longer progress because they just haven't gotten around to sending us the codes to unlock the other six specializations. First off, it's unfair that they need to be unlocked at all; why can't they just be unlocked from the start? Why do only limited edition game owners get to choose from all eight (while I didn't even know about the limited edition because the Gamestop employee said there wasn't more than one edition this time or else I would have purchased it anyway)? So now I refuse to play multiplayer because I'm not going to play for nothing.
And daily exp caps too? Also stupid. I bought a ton of Mountain Dew and Doritos for the double xp only to hit the exp cap almost daily now, whilst losing out on any commendation/challenge/game experience I rightfully earned passed the limit. Now I have to keep track of how much I earn daily, and that's not even a sure-fire method not to hit it because it varies almost every day; USUALLY it's around 150,000, but never exactly. So just like Halo: Reach when I hit Commander grade 3, now I have to stop playing until the "rest" of the community catches up. That's completely unfair and discouraging that I should be "punished" for playing too much, I guess.
My second complaint is the maps. Five total maps in standard matchmaking playlists, really? ...two of which suck. Solace is the worst map since Snowbound, Abandon is also terrible, and unless you use the Ghost or the sniper the whole time, Complex isn't that great either. Obviously Haven is a fantastic map and Adrift can be good too, but really? Five maps? This Halo game is by far the worst of them all regarding maps. And not only that, but they sell us the game for 65 dollars, and then say, "Oh you gotta pay 25 dollars more if you want all the maps," (the map packs). That's complete and utter bullsh** they sell us the game in two purchases just to make more money. And on top of both of these travesties, the new maps (from what I've seen so far in the Crimson map pack) are all vehicle-based, noob-favored, uncompetitive maps too. Really, 343, we can't have some good MLG-style competitive maps like, oh I don't know, let's go down the whole list of good maps they could have re-made or at least drawn inspiration from:
and the list goes on; these are just off the top of my head.
I am a competitive player, and I'd like to see some smaller, competitive maps; Haven is the only one close.
My next complaint is in regard to the skill-ranking system, or lack thereof rather. I understand it's in the works, so it's not a huge complaint, but really why couldn't they have it done for the game upon release? Or at least thrown in some simple Truskill system from the old Halos until the new one is completely beta-tested and ready? SR is only satisfying for so long. I realize the skill system in every Halo game has been broken in some form or another (Halo 2, if you were above 36 you were a cheater; Halo 3, the mu of Truskill stuck you at a level for eternity no matter how much you improved over time; and Reach had no real skill system at all worth even mentioning, it was such a joke, etc.), but nonetheless a broken one is better than a nonexistent one.
Next, why does the armor, nearly ALL of it, completely suck? I prefer any other Halo game over the armor mods in Halo 4, whether it be no mods at all, or simply the mods Reach or Halo 3 had. Nearly every single helmet looks absolutely awful. SOME of them are okay, but not more than what I can count on one hand. And on top of that, in order to unlock the best ones, you have to complete the impossible. Covenant Loadout Mastery? Who is gonna max out the plasma pistol, really? That means killing opponents with it, not just disabling vehicles and taking down shields. And not only this, for some unexplainable reason I have yet to understand, many people as low as SR 1 - SR 10 somehow have these armor mods that require the nearly impossible commendations to unlock. The same goes for Stances. Cheating, or am I missing something? I'll also note that nearly all the emblem options suck too (as they also sucked in Reach; what happened to all the good ones in Halo 2 and Halo 3?)
Next, and man this one really irritates the hell out of me, why in the WORLD can't you just pick up grenades from dead spartans like EVERY OTHER HALO GAME without Resupply? That makes no sense, and it's incredibly aggravating. I am forced to sacrifice all other tactical packages due to this injustice.
Next, armor abilities. Now let me begin by saying armor abilities are the absolute worst addition to the franchise by FAR, especially Armor Lock in Halo: Reach. However, after some tweaking and balancing, I have come to accept them as part of the game. I understand making Hologram more powerful, I fall for it all the time, and it's now a worthwhile ability to use. I understand toning down the jetpack (my personal choice of AA now), and thank GOD for making sprint a default ability (common sense that Halo: Reach lacked), but what I do not understand is Promethean Vision. It is completely overpowered, uncompetitive, and unfair. As if the motion sensor didn't make the element of surprise difficult already, now with PV it's nearly impossible in many cases.
Next, why the removal of Forge World? That was like the major selling point of Reach, one of the greatest additions to any Halo game ever, only to be removed with no explanation or trace. And I'll add here, why the removal of the party theater feature that was in Halo 3? I'll still never understand that; I and my friends miss it terribly. We want to watch one film all together in one party and discuss it, but only one person can watch a film at a time, why???
I almost forgot this one, but this might be the worst of them all. Why in God's name does the object in objective game types (the flag, oddball, etc.) automatically pick up when you go near it, and to make it worse you can't put the flag down once you pick it up??? There is NOTHING more aggravating than being in a BR/DMR battle and accidentally walking too close to the flag or oddball only to pick it up and die. Or worse, to have the enemy throw it at you and you have NO CHOICE but to catch it? This might be the stupidest thing in any Halo game ever. I have died SO many times from this. I made the "World of Warcraft kid freakout" sound normal after I once walked too close to the flag in a firefight I was so angry. And then once you pick up the flag you'd better be sure you wanna be the flag carrier or die trying because that decision is like a tattoo; it's final. And that's bullsh** and makes no sense.
I will surely think of my other complaints after I post this, as this is only what I could think of in the time it took me to write it, but it's a start. Feel free to disagree with me, because as I already stated a lot of this is mostly just my opinion, but nonetheless I felt strongly enough about these things to post it. I'd love other thoughts and opinions.
By the way, I have no complaints about the campaign...except that it's freakin hard as hell on Legendary. lol
In that regard, well done, 343.