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Every Argument for Sprint, Countered The purpose of this thread is not to explain why sprint is bad in Halo, but to counter all of the arguments that are put forward in favour of sprint. I understand this is a long read, but I don't expect anyone to read it all. Instead, treat this like a list of arguments and counters that you can visit at any time if for any reason you struggle to put them into your own words... Argument 1: "it speeds up gameplay" Counter: no, it doesn't. Gameplay is as fast as developers intend for it to be, and the average map size in Halo 4 is increased to accommodate sprint. It doesn't take any longer to traverse the average map in Halos 1, 2 or 3 than it does in Halo 4. Also, with regard to the amount of time it takes to travel across maps in Halo, there is nothing that needs to be fixed. If you don't like taking the time to move across maps in Halo, to the point that you think a fundamental part of the way Halo plays needs to be changed just so you can travel a bit faster, then Halo might simply not be the game for you. Inevitable response: "Um, no. I'm pretty sure that sprinting across Haven is faster than walking across Haven" Counter: ah, but you've already misunderstood the argument. The argument is not that sprinting across Haven is no faster than walking across Haven, the argument is that sprinting across the average map on Halo 4 is no faster than moving (at top speed) across the average map in Halo 1, 2 and 3 where the maps are smaller to accommodate a lack of sprint. Argument 2: "but Halo feels slow without it" Counter: firstly, as pointed out above, if you don't like the way Halo feels without sprint, then Halo simply wasn't the game for you. Other people were absolutely fine with it, and not only were they fine with it, they actually appreciated it. Secondly, the only reason you think Halo feels slow without sprint is because there is an illusion of speed that is created when running in bursts, even though you aren't necessarily getting anywhere faster. A person who sprints at 20 miles an hour from one side to the other in a 30 meter room will almost certainly feel like they're going faster than if they were to run at 10 miles an hour from one side to the other in a room that is half the size. There is no decrease in travel time, yet an illusion of speed is created because you are moving past your sorroundings faster. The human brain is more sensitive to immediate differences in speed than it is to differences in time that happen over longer periods; periods of time such as those experienced when traversing maps in Halo. Putting aside for a moment that it isn't actually necessary to make traversing maps faster in future titles, as that is not something that ever needed "fixing", I should mention that there is a much more appropriate way to increase the feeling of speed that you experience when moving around, and that is by doing any combination of these 4 things: 1) Decrease the average map size. This would mean less travel time, which is the effect that most sprint fans claim is a desirable impact of sprint on the game. 2) Increase base speed. This would mean less travel time AND it would mean that you were moving faster relative to your sorroundings - one of the main reasons sprint gives an illusion of speed. 3) Increase field of view. An increased field of view gives the illusion of speed as it gives the impression that you are moving past your sorroundings faster than if you had a lower field of view. Keeping in mind that these demonstrations often show both sides of the extreme in order to magnify the effect, see any one of these videos for demonstration: 4) Through the use of vehicles, teleporters and man cannons on larger maps. By giving players more vehicles that are only effective for travelling, such as the Mongoose, you give them the means to travel across larger maps if they don't feel like travelling on foot. Inevitable response: "but I can't shoot while I'm on a Mongoose. I want to be able to move and shoot at the same time!" Counter: isn't it funny then that you are arguing for sprint - a feature that completely takes away from your ability to shoot while moving at top speed - by saying that vehicles aren't good enough because you can't shoot while using them? Inevitable response: "but I can't stop and shoot right away if I'm in a Mongoose. I would have to stop and get out of it" Counter: that's the trade-off that you experience when using vehicles. If you could simply drive a vehicle and then instantly get out and start shooting with only a slight delay, then you would not really be experiencing any draw-backs to using something that puts you at such an easy advantage. The Mongoose gets you across the maps in much less time than if you were simply to travel on foot, which means possibly (and likely) getting to advantageous spots/weapons/power-ups than those who didn't travel by vehicle. Not being able to shoot straight away after getting out is a tiny price to pay for having such a decrease in travel time. Argument 3: "I'm a super soldier in a sci-fi future - I should be able to sprint" Counter: firstly, as far as gameplay goes, gameplay is more important than canon. I mean, it sounds real obvious when I say it like that, but there are still many who use the 'I'm supposed to be a super soldier' argument. Why are we not able to go prone? Why are we not able to aim down sights (yes, it would be possible even though there is a smart link system)? Why are we not able to put our enemies in a rear naked choke? Why are we not able to cook grenades? Why are we not able to throw our knives? Why are we not able to kick? Why are we not able to wrestle? There are any number of things that spartans "should" be able to do as far as canon goes, but we can't do them as far as gameplay goes because many of them just simply wouldn't fit with what Halo is about. Sprint is no different. If people were genuinely concerned about gameplay not completely reflecting canon, then they would all be complaining about all of the things that we can't do in-game, but they simply don't. Secondly, if we were actually to go by canon, then we would be able to sprint at much faster speeds without having to stop after 5 seconds. Also, we would be able to do this while aiming and shooting accurately. The smart-link system doesn't simply shut down once a spartan decides to sprint, nor do a spartans arms decide to suddenly lose the ability to raise. For examples of spartans sprinting and shooting, see Forward unto Dawn, Halo Legends: The Package, The Thursday War (Naomi), and any other examples that may I have forgotten. Argument 4: "every game has sprint these days" Counter: this doesn't come close to being a valid argument. There is no requirement that every game needs to be the same. Variety and uniqueness are far more valuable than monotony and lack of variety. If you simply can't stand the idea of ever playing a game that doesn't include sprint, then the answer is simply to only play those games that do. It certainly doesn't mean that every game should sacrifice its own way of doing things simply so that you don't personally have to worry about there being games that don't cater 100% to your tastes. Also, the 'every game has sprint these days' argument falls into two categories. One is the 'appeal to novelty', which is the false assertion that when something is new or modern, it is automatically good. This of course is untrue. The other is the 'argument by consensus', which is the false assertion that when something is popular or common, therefore it is good. This of course is also untrue. Whether or not every other game today has sprint has no bearing on whether or not sprint works for Halo. It is completely unrelated. Argument 5: "most people like sprint, therefore it should be in the game" Counter: firstly, once you make such a claim, the onus is on you to provide evidence, yet based on the information we have available to us that might give us a clue as to how fans might feel about sprint, there is no logical pathway that would lead to a belief that most Halo fans do like sprint. The information we do have available to us is the fan feedback on various websites such as Halowaypoint, unofficial Halo sites, game websites and YouTube videos and comments. Unless you are going to go through a very large amount of the feedback in all of these different sites, and then put it together in a way which is shown to be non-biased, then you will struggle to find sufficient evidence to suggest that sprint is favoured by most fans. What I will say is that when fans were polled on Halowaypoint about their views on sprint and flinch, more people said that they don't like sprint in Halo. Now this doesn't prove anything as far as whether or not most Halo fans like sprint, but it certainly doesn't sit well with the assertion that most people do like sprint. To see the poll, click this link: https://forums.halowaypoint.com/yaf_postst211131_Should-Sprint-Flinch-stay-in-the-Halo-series.aspx Argument 6: "games can't compete today without sprint" Counter: as with the previous argument, when making such a claim, the onus is on you to provide evidence to support that claim. We haven't had a modern Halo game without sprint in recent years, so therefore we cannot draw any conclusions as to whether or not Halo would survive today without sprint. What we can see is that Halo hasn't done so well with sprint, and one of the most common reasons that is suggested in feedback by fans who dislike Halo 4 is that they don't like sprint in Halo. This would indicate a strong likelihood that Halo 4 would have done better to some degree (perhaps only slightly better) if it did not base itself around default sprint. It certainly doesn't prove such a thing, but it is an indication. Argument 7: "you're just scared of change. You want every Halo game to be exactly the same" Counter: this particular argument finds itself guilty of being a 'straw-man' argument. There is no logical pathway from seeing a person say they dislike sprint (or any other feature) to assuming they are scared of or against all possible change. There is no logical pathway from seeing a person say they dislike sprint (or any other feature) to assuming that they want every Halo game to be exactly the same. The only way you can possibly claim that a person is scared of change is if they literally utter the words: 'I'm scared of change'. For example, if you were to ask me to make you a pizza, but to put some different toppings on from the last time you ate pizza, and then I went and made a pizza with slugs, grass, mouldy apples and hair from the bathroom sink, you would likely reject the pizza. It's highly likely that you would tell me I had done a horrible job of deciding on what kind of pizza to make you. Now, would it make sense for me to then say: "wow, so you hate pizza toppings? I can only assume that you are scared of change. You just can't move on from the days when margherita was your favourite pizza. You'll never be pleased"? Most people would know that such an assumption would be a logical fallacy, however, people are very selective with when they apply every day logic, and if the 'you're scared of change' argument happens to help their own argument, then they'll gladly abandon any semblance of logic. That's where this whole argument stems from, and it is quite simply ineffective when it comes to demonstrating that sprint is a good thing for Halo. Argument 8: "I enjoy sprint, and that's all that matters" Counter: simply untrue. Any possible feature that you can imagine, no matter how terrible, has the potential to be "enjoyed" by someone out there. I think most people would agree that having Rockets and Incineration cannons as loadout options would simply be bad for Halo gameplay, yet those additions would likely be enjoyable to someone somewhere. Following the 'I enjoy it, so it's right' logic, Rockets and Incineration cannons absolutely SHOULD be loadouts options. Why? Because they have the potential to be liked. How about a perk that grants invincibility, and a second perk that allows all your weapons to shoot Rockets that kill anyone within 10 meters? There could be people out there who would enjoy such things, but I don't think many people would disagree that these things shouldn't be added simply on the basis that some might find the additions enjoyable. Sprint is no different. Whether or not we like sprint as individuals is actually incidental and is irrelevant to whether or not it should be in the game. What matters is whether or not it fits with what Halo is fundamentally about when it comes to gameplay - sprint does not. Argument 9: "if someone runs away from you, you have sprint too, so you can just chase them" Counter: there are two things here which you are assuming are part of the problem for people who don't like sprint, which are actually not part of the problem at all. 1) The assumption that non-sprint fans think players running away is bad. This is a false assumption. Players running away from encounters they're losing is completely understandable and completely viable. 2) The assumption that non-sprint fans somehow don't realise that they can chase the player that is running away. This is false; non-sprint fans haven't suddenly forgotten that they have the ability to move in Halo. The real problem is that the game grants an unfair and unearned advantage to players who decide to run away from encounters. This advantage comes in the form of lowered weapons. The objective of a player who runs away is to get to safety and allow their shields to recharge. The objective of a chasing player is to keep up with the escapee and to continue to shoot them so that the escapee's shields don't recharge. In Halos 1, 2 and 3, the chaser could simply run at the same speed as the escapee and continue shooting at the same time. However, this abiltiy is not granted in Halo 4 as the chaser has to sacrifice his/her ability to shoot in order to simply keep up with the escapee. This nullifies the chase to begin with, because the point of chasing a player who you were in the middle of killing is to kill them before their shields recharge, thus finishing the encounter. Inevitable response: "but they aren't going to not run away are they? That would be dumb"Counter: again, >> running away isn't the problem, << the problem is that the person who runs away after performing worse than their enemy is granted a free advantage in the form of lowered weapons. They simply do not need raised weapons to accomplish the goal of running away, whereas the chaser needs raised weapons in order to chase at the same speed AND have the ability to shoot. Inevitable response: "but why should the chaser have the ability to shoot? Who says they deserve it?" Counter: firstly, because that's a large part of what made Halo play the way it did ona fundamental level historically. Secondly, because they put themselves in the situation of being on top by actually playing better than their opponent; they out-played that person, and therefore have earned the position of being in the likely place of winning the encounter. The person who is losing the encounter should now have to put himself back on top in the face of being in a disadvantageous position. This means that while they are fighting to get back on top (whether it's by running or fighting), they should have to do it by putting themselves there through work, as opposed to pressing a button which gives them an automatic advantage. After all, the player who out-played them to begin with didn't get there by being granted an automatic advantage. They got there in the face of equal opportunity through various skills such as good positioning, fast reactions, good strafing, good shooting etc. Argument 10: "sprint makes the game more immersive" Counter: let's first make sure we're clear on the definition of immersive. When something is immersive, that means it provides information or stimulation for a number of senses. In this particular case, the sense we are talking about is sight. The claim is that sprint makes you feel more like you're in the game due to running in bursts (as the average human would do in real life), and therefore should be in the game. Firstly, immersion is not actually a top priority as far as gameplay goes. It is something that should be sought after so long as more important factors, such as balance, are not disrupted in the process. Sprint is an example of "immersion" that does have several harmful effects on the gameplay itself, and therefore is not an appropriate addition simply for the sake of "immersing" the player. Secondly, if immersion means making you, a normal human being, feel more like you're moving around in the world itself in the same way that you would be capable of, then immersion is not appropriate in that sense. You are playing as a spartan who, as pointed out earlier, have been shown in the canon to be able to sprint at speeds far faster than you or I are capable of, while aiming and shooting accurately and without having to stop after 5 seconds. True immersion in the sense of making us feel like spartans from the Halo universe would mean making us move around the world in the way that they would be capable of, and in the process, sprint and lowered weapons would simply be abandoned. As with the canon argument, if you really truly believe that "immersion" is a priority in a game, then you'll actually be against sprint and lowered weapons. Argument 11: "it helps me get into battle faster" Counter: as we discussed earlier, maps have been stretched to accommodate sprint. That means that on the maps in Halo 4, the average time between you and "battle" at spawn is no different than the average time between you and "battle" at spawn in Halo 1, 2 or 3. Also, there was no fault in how fast you were able to get into battle in Halos 1, 2 and 3. The time it took was the time that was intended, and there was nothing broken about that. If you didn't like that, then Halo might not have been for you. Argument 12: "it helps me get to my teammates faster so I can help them out" Counter: as above, maps have been stretched to accommodate sprint. That means that on the maps in Halo 4, the average time you spawn from your teammates is no different than the average time you spawn from your teammates in Halos 1, 2 or 3. Therefore, you simply do not get to your teammates any faster. Argument 13: "it adds an element of excitement and franticness" Counter: First of all, there was no lack of excitement in previous Halo games for the people that liked the gameplay that they were built upon. As mentioned in an earlier part of this post, Halo doesn't need to change fundamentally - alienating many who appreciated the original core gameplay - just to please people who aren't already into the franchise. Secondly, any number of things could add a sense of excitement, adrenaline and franticness; things such as giving all players Rockets and perks that get rid of the need to reload. However, these things come with draw-backs, and therefore are not appropriate gameplay additions. Sprint is no different. Argument 14: "it's annoying to switch from one shooter to another and having to get used to no sprint" Counter: any number of differences in gameplay and button layouts between games could be annoying, but variety and gameplay are far more important than consistency between different game franchises. The slight inconvenience of having to get used to different gameplay for different games is nothing compared to the inconvenience of all games in each genre being the same in every way, and at the expense of quality gameplay, just so that some people don't have to learn to get used to the differences when they switch between games. Many games have the ability to go prone and aim down sights, but we don't say that Halo absolutely has to have those in order to be consistent with other games. Halo playing like Halo and working as a whole from a gameplay perspective is far more important than Halo not being inconvenient to switch to will ever be. ... The Big Question You might be thinking: "so why on Earth do people like sprint?" Well, there are 3 legitimate reasons that people like sprint in Halo: 1) As we discussed earlier on, it gives the illusion of speed. Some people genuinely enjoy the illusion, and it's completely understandable. However, the negative impact on gameplay is far more important than the intangible illusion of traversing maps slower without sprint. 2) It's slightly more convenient to move between shooters that all have the same or similar mechanics. 3) It's another defensive ability which makes the game easier. We've all heard this referred to as the 'get out of jail free card'. And as we discussed earlier, it allows players to run away more easily from encounters they are losing, which means they don't have to stay and fight it out as often. Some people find these types of defensive capabilities - which make playing the game require less skill and thought - to be enjoyable. That's not something I would personally criticize, but it is something that is objectively bad for deciding on how the core gameplay of Halo is built, as those are not the principles Halo's core gameplay was originally built around or known for. Please feel free to let me know if you disagree with anything, and please feel free to share with people the arguments you find in this thread if you can't seem to put them into words. Thanks for reading.
Here are my thoughts on Spartan Abilities based on what we know so far, and the ways in which I think they could be implemented. What do we know about Spartan Abilities so far? - They're not Armour Abilities. - They're not Armour related, but are things that Spartans can do inherently. In Halo 2, the new SAs would be dual-wielding and vehicle boarding. - Every player has the same set of Spartan Abilities http://teambeyond.net/forum/index.php?/topic/5709-frank-oconnor-confirms-armor-abilities-removed-from-halo-5/ http://teambeyond.net/halo-5-guardians-wont-armor-abilities/ Why do I personally think they could complement Halo gameplay? First and foremost, everyone has access to the same set of abilities, so there's no guessing what the other play has at their disposal. This means that unlike with AAs, SAs will allow players to predict (without guess-work) what the other player might do during any given encounter. It also means that players wont have functional advantages over each other. But it's important to mention that a feature isn't automatically good just because everyone has access to it at all times. I think there is more to consider when it comes to whether or not each individual SA will work. If I could put into one sentence my philosophy on how they should fit into the game, it would go something like this: Spartan Abilities should give players different options - options which require a decent amount of skill to utilize - for approaching encounters, without taking anything away from the validity of the skills that would otherwise have been appropriate in approaching those encounters. But what would be an ability that wouldn't fit into this description? Let's take armour lock and pretend that everyone had it at all times, and let's ignore for a moment that it was armour related for the sake of this point. Armour lock was used in order to save a person's life in a situation where they otherwise would have had to fight their way out of the same situation had Armour Lock not been an option. It happens at the simple push of a button, yet the benefits to the player greatly outweigh those of simply fighting without armour lock. Imagine a typical situation where Armour Lock would be used - a player is losing an encounter. And let's look at the typical impact that armour lock, and a lack of amour lock will have on that situation: Armour Lock Player input - pushing and holding a button. Very little thought or timing necessary in gaining the benefits. Outcome - greatly improved chance of survival (at least for the time that you're pushing and holding the button). No Armour Lock Player input - having to use skills such as out-shooting and out-strafing the enemy. Requires a decent amount of timing and thought in order to make effective use of those skills. Outcome - greatly reduced chance of survival So Armour Lock not only required very little in the form of human input, but it also negated and drastically reduced the necessity for other skills which were already valid in its absence. So how about an ability which does actually fit into that philosophy? Well, a good example of that would be vehicle boarding. Vehicle boarding gives players an option for taking over vehicles which are currently in use by the enemy team, but without having to destroy the vehicle, and without having to rely on power weapons or grenades. Why is it not a bad option in the same way that Armour Lock is? Because: 1) Typically, it requires a decent amount of skill, timing and thought to pull off. So it doesn't present itself as an obvious choice over the skills which were previously necessary in taking on an enemy vehicle (killing the player). 2) It isn't always an option, and most of the time, the previous skills are still more appropriate in taking on enemy vehicles than vehicle boarding itself. Vehicle boarding is only valid when you get close enough to actually use the ability in the first place, which in itself is an effort to achieve, unless the enemy player makes a mistake of their own. So the other skills, such as destroying the vehicle itself or killing the people inside it, are still very much appropriate and valid. So to put it simply, the extra option isn't something which negates the need for skill in order to take on the vehicle, it simply adds another option which still requires timing, thought and a decent amount of skill from the player to use effectively. How does this apply to Spartan Abilities? I think that they should all be more aligned with the kind of things vehicle boarding brought to Halo gameplay, and less aligned with what armour lock brought to gameplay. My current theory on the ground-punch Spartan Ability One of the abilities which the Halo 5 beta trailer seemed to show off was the yet-to-be-officially-named 'ground pucnh' abilitiy. It shows a spartan using the thruster pack to thrust down and punch the ground. The resulting effect in the trailer is that the enemy spartans get blown away from the impact (and possibly killed?), even though the ground-punch-spartan didn't actually come into direct contact with them. I think the ground punch might do damage based on the height you fall from when using it. For example, falling from a mere jumping height will do very little damage (if any), while falling from a large height (say from the top of Construct to the bottom) will do more damage, and perhaps have a higher damage radius, due to the fall itself taking longer. If this theory is true, then it would seem to be a self-regulating feature in that players who try to spam the ability, by simply jumping and using it over and over again, will get very little benefit from it because they wont be using it from a decent height. And the result will be that they're putting themselves at risk more than they're helping themselves. If players use it from a height, the increased damage would be the reward for having to time the jump/fall more accurately to get results. Also, as pointed out by Gobias no Teambeyond, it would reward the controlling of higher ground, but you would have to sacrifice that advantage in order to risk the opportunity to deal more damage. Some questions: What would your own philosophy be on how the Spartan Abilities should fit into Halo gameplay? Do you have any theories on what some of the yet-to-be-shown SAs might be? What do you think about how the 'ground-punch' SA should/could work?