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While arguing in another thread it occurred to me what went wrong with the introduction of Armor Abilities.

 

AA's were envisioned as the follow up to previous Halo's equipment and Power Ups. But those things had been "power ups". They conferred an advantage on purpose. Where Reach went wrong was trying to apply things which were meant to make you more powerful in such a way as to make everyone equally powerfull. In Halo 3 the Bubble Shield is not meant to match Active Camo. It is not supposed to be a level playing field. In Reach, Bungie tried to modify all these preexisting things than throw in some new ones without making an effort to make the different AA's balance each other Rock,Paper,Scissors style. So the core problem is trying to adapt things which are inherently asymmetrical in gameplay terms to be symmetrical, and the result of this contradictory approach is you get AA's which are either lame knockoffs of previous versions (Active Camo) or Overpowered (Armor Lock).

 

And this says another thing about the future of Halo...if 343 makes an armor customization system which changes peoples abilities but is not necessarily the Armor abilities of Reach, it doesnt have to have the same problems because rather than trying to adapt things which are inherently unbalanced to be balanced, 343 will likely be starting off from a point of "what little changes can we give people to customize themselves while remaining balanced?".

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I think that's a pretty good point. And a point that bungie should have made before throwing the whole idea out the window.

 

As for little things to customize your character, in a different post people touched on the idea of starting with a plasma grenade instead of a backup weapon. Or a pistol instead of an AR. I would prefer starting with a BR and a plasma instead of having an AR as a backup. I don't think I'm getting an advantage as anyone could pick up a plasma the same as I could pick up an AR. I just prefer to throw stickies than spray people with AR's. But the guy who chose the AR should be able to kill me at close quarters as that's what I gave up for that sticky. Can't blame the game for that one, it was your choice.

 

I think that's a pretty good idea for adding a little change without taking away from the gameplay.

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But at the same time, while some of the AA's were definitely unbalanced, you can't say that this is what Bungie was going for. They definitely were not intentionally unbalancing the game, regardless of how it turned out. I hope that whatever 343 does works, and is a smooth system, but when you add even little things for customization, it can have unintended consequences.

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I agree, I mean I don't want some crazy person using his invisibility + radar jammmer whilst camping with a shotgun in a corner you'd never expect someone to be in. It's not tactical, it's pure idiocy, takes absolutely no skill what so ever. I only like sprint but I'm not going to rant anymore about the subject.

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But at the same time, while some of the AA's were definitely unbalanced, you can't say that this is what Bungie was going for. They definitely were not intentionally unbalancing the game, regardless of how it turned out. I hope that whatever 343 does works, and is a smooth system, but when you add even little things for customization, it can have unintended consequences.

 

Yeah I definitely do not think Bungie did it intentionally. I mean, yes of course the implementation of the feature was unintentional, but the fact that they didn't foresee these unintended consequences wasn't intentional. But I agree, Customization is just a dangerous game, especially in something like Halo which relies on a certain amount of symmetry from player to player. But this gives me hope because the way I see it, a customization which starts from scratch, such as out of game armor "perks" (for lack of a better word) have a much better chance of being successful.

 

That and, having the cosmetic customization of Reach + a bit of actual gameplay customization is just a ton of customization, as much if not more than Halo's competition. And I'm looking forward to that.

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