Is the general consensus . . .

#1 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -

. . . That Halo 2 is a better, more balanced, more polished online multiplayer experience than Halo 3? Do people favor the heavy auto-aim to the looser, more fluid aiming system? And Halo 3's ever-controversial melee system? 
 
And, if so, does this make the April deactivation of the original Xbox Live more bittersweet? 
 
Discuss the merits, people. I want merits.

#2 Posted by ImperiousRix (2963 posts) -

Having only played Halo 2 on occcasion (and locally), I feel ill-equipped to comment.  Personally, I didn't notice any appreciable differences, and seeing as I played a lot more of (and was better at) Halo 3, I enjoy that game a lot better. 
Personally, I love the "broken" melee attacks.  It makes the game weirdly appealing, and it's fun to see on my Halo 3 stats that my most kills online have come from just bashing dudes in the face.

#3 Posted by mshaw006 (548 posts) -

In my opinion, Halo 2 had much better maps. As far as the controls, all I can remember is that it felt better to play Halo 2 than it does to play Halo 3.

#4 Posted by Relys (984 posts) -

Halo 3 was a trip down n00b lane.

#5 Posted by Coombs (3449 posts) -

I enjoyed Halo 2 WAY more than 3

#6 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

I've only played Halo 2 on the PC. But from what I've seen when Halo 2 first came out, their were a lot of people that would have cherished memories for it.

#7 Posted by Grilledcheez (3947 posts) -

Halo 2 feels better to me control wise, you have a wider field of view...the jumping feels better, the guns feel better, the maps are actually good...I have fun when I play Halo 2 while Halo 3 feels so bland and inferior to me.

#8 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -
@Coombs said:
" I enjoyed Halo 2 WAY more than 3 "
I think I have fonder memories of 2 than 3, and I definitely played it more, but I question how much of that is just a product of the fact that, at the time, Halo 2 had no competition on the console front.
#9 Posted by fishmicmuffin (1041 posts) -

Mutual beat downs are always fun.
 
 
NOT
 
I enjoyed Halo 2 more when I was playing it online. There were also FAR more exploits with Halo 2's online experience than there were with Halo 3. Mostly due to super bounces and the like. Getting sniped from a spot you didn't think it was possible to reach wasn't my idea of an entertaining experience. When nobody was exploiting the game, however.... Halo 2 was more fun.

#10 Posted by HatKing (5884 posts) -

I had more fun with Halo 3 but that might have been because I didn't do much of the competitive stuff and mostly spent hours on top of hours in forge with friends.  Even when I played in the versus modes I think I liked Halo 3 a little better, but then I'm not the kind of person who lets stupid shit like a split second difference in melee attacks bother me.

#11 Posted by Jadeskye (4367 posts) -

i played halo 2 on the xbox original a lot longer then halo 3, not nesseserally a judgement of quality but of my personal favourite for sure.

#12 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -
@HatKing said:
"

I had more fun with Halo 3 but that might have been because I didn't do much of the competitive stuff and mostly spent hours on top of hours in forge with friends.  Even when I played in the versus modes I think I liked Halo 3 a little better, but then I'm not the kind of person who lets stupid shit like a split second difference in melee attacks bother me.

"
The Forge mode was definitely something I really cherished about Halo 3 at first. I fell out of being creative with it, but as far as console-based map editors go, it had a pretty high ceiling of possibility. Especially when combined with the game's customizable game modes.
#13 Posted by ajamafalous (11957 posts) -

I feel that Halo 2 is to Halo 3 what Super Smash Bros. Melee is to Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

#14 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -
@ajamafalous said:
" I feel that Halo 2 is to Halo 3 what Super Smash Bros. Melee is to Super Smash Bros. Brawl. "
I don't know how to read this comment. The best interpretation I have is that "Brawl/Halo 3" tightened the game systems whilst adding a plethora of new features, but Halo 2 had a greater synergy between all of its components, a more defined "magical" working quality. Systematically, Halo 3 might be the more advanced. Pragmatically, Halo 2 is the more interesting and engaging shooter.
 
Again, your comment was really vague, so I don't know if I explicated it well enough.
#15 Edited by crunchUK (5963 posts) -

No. I honestly can't believe people think this. SMG spawns are ridiculous, the BR is all powerful, double beatdowns suck (and solved by not AR/meleeing like a tool anyway),but halo 2's melee is unbelievably inconsistent, halo 2 is way more glitchy, sniping is RIDICULOUSLY easy, and the list goes on 
 
One thing it certainly had though, was original and memorable maps. I mean terminal, Turf, headlong... they were just fabulous. In halo 3 there are few non BTB maps that stand out for their excellence. 
 
Ultimately, people say halo 2 was better because it was the first halo MP experience for them, and minds were blown, bricks were shat and so on. Halo 3 is done a hell of a lot better though, having played a lot of halo 2 in recent months, you really get to see it without the rose tinted glasses, and what a mess it really was. It was just the most advanced MP game out there for much of last generation and dare i say this one as well until 2007 came.  
 
that doesn't mean it's a bad game though. Take the original gears of war - VERY broken, yet still lots of fun (too bad gears 2 had the fun removed and was STILL broken)

#16 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -
@crunchUK: Map design is certainly a place where there is a huge canyon between the two games. Halo 3's map design seems really uninspired to me. And the asymmetrical maps in 3 just aren't as balanced as are the asymmetrical maps in 2. 
 
I tend to agree with you that, mechanically, Halo 3 is an improvement over its predecessor. I've always preferred the fluid melee of Halo 1 over the "lunge" mechanic of 2--3 is technically a happy medium, but the lunge is significantly less dramatic.
 
Personally, though, I like the emphasis Halo 2 had on dual-wielding, and with the reinsertion of the Assault Rifle, dual-wielding is made basically obsolete.
#17 Posted by dantheman1515 (297 posts) -

H3 gameplay> H2 gameplay 
H2 maps> H3 maps 
 
nuff said

#18 Posted by BionicMonster (1032 posts) -

I've spent more time in Halo 2 multiplayer then most other games combined.It's where I met atleast 50% of the people on my friends list. So based on nostalgia alone, Halo 2 is a sure lock.Adding the awesome maps,and hilarious glitches, makes Halo 2 one of my favorite games of all time.

#19 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5408 posts) -

I really, really didn't like Halo 2. 
 
For me, it goes: Halo 3 > Halo >>> Halo 2.

#20 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok said:
" the asymmetrical maps in 3 just aren't as balanced as are the asymmetrical maps in 2.    "
This is really true. Apart from maybe longshore (Which i think is one of the best maps in the game, too bad it's so hard to get in MM...), all the asymmetrical maps either end up with the offense borking the opening strategy and then being spawn camped, or with the defense borking the opening strategy and resorting to an agonizingly slow game of camping in the base hoping they don't bounce some grenades your way.  By contrast, i just noticed all the halo 2 maps i listed as "fabulous" are asymmetrical. Go figure.
#21 Edited by Fosssil (627 posts) -

I think Halo 3 could have been much better if Bungie hadn't decided to change so many of the game's mechanics that were perfectly fine to begin with. Halo 2 had plenty of problems: weapon glitches, superbounces, a horrible default spawning weapon, excessive amounts of aim magnetism, etc. They managed to fix the glitches, they turned-down the aim magnetism, and they made the AR slightly more useful than the H2 SMG (although it's still a terrible spawning weapon), but then they went even further and ruined a bunch of features from Halo 2 that were absolutely not broken. They increased the delay between switching weapons, cut the possible amount of Frag/Plasma grenades in half to make room for two extra grenade types that are rarely used, decreased grenade strength across the board, turned the OS/Camo/Custom powerups into giant glowing energy orbs that block bullets and grenades for some reason... a bunch of small changes that are absolutely unnecessary and do nothing but diminish the skill gap.
 
Of course, the H3 melee was the single worst change that Bungie made between the two games. Halo 2's melee wasn't nearly as inconsistent as some may be remembering, and (despite the enormous lunge and the presence of melee-glitches) required much more skill and had much more depth than the H3 melee. In Halo 2 a player could inflict different amounts of melee damage on an opponent based on whether they were standing still, running, or jumping. A jumping melee did more damage than a stationary melee, and experienced players could use this to their advantage to help them win close-quarter battles against less knowledgeable players (although this advantage was eventually made obsolete by BXR and BXB). Halo 3's melee has no such depth, as every melee does the exact same amount of damage (unless the player is holding a Brute Shot or Spiker, but the difference is negligible). Further, while the Halo 2 melee lunge extended a bit farther than the Halo 3 version, the melee hitbox was much smaller in Halo 2. This meant that a player actually had to aim their melee attacks, and that a player being melee'd could crouch under their opponent's strike if they were able to time it right. In Halo 3, a player simply has to be facing their opponent (or sometimes they don't even have to do that) in order to land a melee. This diminished depth in the CQC sphere of gameplay is the worst (and most unnecessary) change that Bungie made when creating Halo 3.
 
For now, my list of best Halo games goes: H1>H2>H3; though, I'm hopeful that Reach can shake that list up a bit. I spent countless hours playing Halo 2, despite its flaws (something I can't really say for Halo 3), and will definitely be sad to see it retired in April.

#22 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Fosssil said:
"  but then they went even further and ruined a bunch of features from Halo 2 that were absolutely not broken. They increased the delay between switching weapons, cut the possible amount of Frag/Plasma grenades in half to make room for two extra grenade types that are rarely used, decreased grenade strength across the board, turned the OS/Camo/Custom powerups into giant glowing energy orbs that block bullets and grenades for some reason... a "
All of the things you listed make sense for halo 3 though. Weapon swapping delay just means that having an energy sword/shotgun as secondary means you aren't invinicble, less and less powerful grenades because you move slower... and camo being an orb is the most pointless thing to complain about in the world. 
 
As for the melee, don't kid yourself. The word is inconsistency. 
#23 Posted by JoelTGM (5596 posts) -
@mshaw006 said:
" In my opinion, Halo 2 had much better maps. As far as the controls, all I can remember is that it felt better to play Halo 2 than it does to play Halo 3. "
In Halo 3 they slowed down your actual running speed... and yeah the maps in Halo 3 weren't as good.
#24 Edited by Fosssil (627 posts) -
@crunchUK: They already added an extra bit of delay on weapon swapping beyond the default when a player is holding a sword so as to decrease its dominance. There's no reason why they had to prolong the time it takes to switch from a BR to a Magnum. The weapon swap delay has been increased to the point where it is only marginally quicker than simply reloading your current weapon. I think they did it to prevent people from using BYB (the lesser known cousin of BXB), but they could have gone about it in a different way. It simply isn't a good change.
 
In my opinion, they should have just left the grenades alone and turned up the default movement speed instead. That's another topic that I didn't mention in my other post: the movement physics in Halo 3 are slower and "floatier" than either of its two predecessors, to the detriment of gameplay.
 
And I know that it seems stupid and inconsequential to complain about the powerup orbs, but that particular change serves as a perfect small-scale example of the overall problem with many of Bungie's design decisions in Halo 3. What, exactly, was in need of changing with the previous powerup design? The little red/gold cube OS (H1 and H2 respectively), and the little blue pyramid Camo were both distinctive designs that were easy to recognize, even for a casual player. But they weren't mindless enough for Bungie, so instead of leaving well enough alone, they decided to turn them into giant, bullet absorbing, grenade reflecting, orbs. That bullet absorption/grenade reflection property is the main source of my complaint, because it severely limits the powerup placement in Forge, and all but forces the map designer to tuck them in some out of the way corner of the map so that they don't interfere with gameplay. Want to put a Camo in the middle of the bottom bridge on Narrows? Go right ahead, so long as you want to ruin the sight-lines for long-range combat between the two sniper spawns. An OS in the middle of Long Hall on The Pit? Sounds great. Too bad no one can shoot through that stupid glowing orb in the middle of the hallway in order to fairly determine who actually deserves to collect that powerup. 
 
Did you ever happen to play the Head to Head variant of Guardian? On that map, Shishka decided to put a Camo bottom-mid, where the Grav Hammer typically spawns. On paper it seems like a good place for the powerup, and should produce an interesting and fair battle between Player A at Gold Lift and Player B at Sniper tower. Too bad neither of them can reliably shoot or grenade each other because the entire line of sight from bottom gold to bottom snipe is interrupted by a large, bullet-reflecting orb. The resulting battle is less about who is accurate and consistent with their shooting and grenade placement, and more about who happens to run up and grab the powerup fastest. 
 
I understand that it is a small, relatively insignificant thing to complain about. But it is a classic example of Bungie tweaking something that absolutely didn't need to be tweaked, subsequently creating more problems than they solved.
 
EDIT: Forgot to mention that the H2 melee was rarely inconsistent on a quality host/LAN. The only time it was ever truly inconsistent was when a game was being played under poor network conditions (same as Halo 3). And it's not like any of the changes that Bungie made to the Halo 3 melee really did anything to solve the previous inconsistencies of the Halo 2 melee anyway. They made it "fairer" in a sense for players with poor connections, but at the cost of depth.
#25 Posted by ajamafalous (11957 posts) -
@Fosssil said:
" I think Halo 3 could have been much better if Bungie hadn't decided to change so many of the game's mechanics that were perfectly fine to begin with. Halo 2 had plenty of problems: weapon glitches, superbounces, a horrible default spawning weapon, excessive amounts of aim magnetism, etc. They managed to fix the glitches, they turned-down the aim magnetism, and they made the AR slightly more useful than the H2 SMG (although it's still a terrible spawning weapon), but then they went even further and ruined a bunch of features from Halo 2 that were absolutely not broken. They increased the delay between switching weapons, cut the possible amount of Frag/Plasma grenades in half to make room for two extra grenade types that are rarely used, decreased grenade strength across the board, turned the OS/Camo/Custom powerups into giant glowing energy orbs that block bullets and grenades for some reason... a bunch of small changes that are absolutely unnecessary and do nothing but diminish the skill gap.
 
Of course, the H3 melee was the single worst change that Bungie made between the two games. Halo 2's melee wasn't nearly as inconsistent as some may be remembering, and (despite the enormous lunge and the presence of melee-glitches) required much more skill and had much more depth than the H3 melee. In Halo 2 a player could inflict different amounts of melee damage on an opponent based on whether they were standing still, running, or jumping. A jumping melee did more damage than a stationary melee, and experienced players could use this to their advantage to help them win close-quarter battles against less knowledgeable players (although this advantage was eventually made obsolete by BXR and BXB). Halo 3's melee has no such depth, as every melee does the exact same amount of damage (unless the player is holding a Brute Shot or Spiker, but the difference is negligible). Further, while the Halo 2 melee lunge extended a bit farther than the Halo 3 version, the melee hitbox was much smaller in Halo 2. This meant that a player actually had to aim their melee attacks, and that a player being melee'd could crouch under their opponent's strike if they were able to time it right. In Halo 3, a player simply has to be facing their opponent (or sometimes they don't even have to do that) in order to land a melee. This diminished depth in the CQC sphere of gameplay is the worst (and most unnecessary) change that Bungie made when creating Halo 3. "
I was about to post to clear up my earlier one, then I saw this.
 
 
I could not have said it any better.
#26 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Fosssil said:
": Forgot to mention that the H2 melee was rarely inconsistent on a quality host/LAN. The only time it was ever truly inconsistent was when a game was being played under poor network conditions (same as Halo 3). And it's not like any of the changes that Bungie made to the Halo 3 melee really did anything to solve the previous inconsistencies of the Halo 2 melee anyway. They made it "fairer" in a sense for players with poor connections, but at the cost of depth. "
I dunno. I'd say it's like halo 2 BR to halo 3 BR... sure there is more to the halo 3 BR such as leading shots and greater emphasis on teamshooting but at the same time there's less you can do about certain things. Halo 2 melee is a bit like that. Sure there's more things to it but at the end of the day you know precisely the outcome of a boring old halo 3 melee, and you can strategize accordingly. 
 
At least that's how i feel. There's nothing to combat in an RTS, there's just 2 possibilities in the most basic form of combat, but precisely because of that the emphasis can be put on decision making and tactics. 
 
At the end of the day everyone will eventually manage to learn a certain skill-based move, but strategies are ever evolving and dynamic. I guess that's why i think big team is the best way to play halo... and why i simply cannot understand what's so great about call of duty. 
#27 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -

I HATED Halo 2. Halo 3 is far and away a better game, but my personal favorite will always be Halo CE.

#28 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -
@crunchUK: @Fosssil: Really digging your guys' conversation. Good job keeping things intelligent and civil.
 
Also, I had no idea about the physical properties of the Orbs in Halo 3. That does seem like a design flaw, on paper. The only reason I didn't notice it is, like you said, Fosssil, because the maps have little nooks in which the powerups are placed.
 
I'm big on finding out the run speed and damage counters for the two games, seeing how they compare and contrast empirically. I don't know if I believe that sort of data has a huge influence on how fluently the games play, but it's still really interesting to me.
#29 Edited by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok said:

" @crunchUK: @Fosssil: Really digging your guys' conversation. Good job keeping things intelligent and civil.  Also, I had no idea about the physical properties of the Orbs in Halo 3. That does seem like a design flaw, on paper. The only reason I didn't notice it is, like you said, Fosssil, because the maps have little nooks in which the powerups are placed.  I'm big on finding out the run speed and damage counters for the two games, seeing how they compare and contrast empirically. I don't know if I believe that sort of data has a huge influence on how fluently the games play, but it's still really interesting to me. "

I don't think you could possibly say for sure, but i'd estimate that halo 2 is somewhere around the 110% speed MLG settings use. Either way, i'm pretty sure slowness is just to make it a bit less unreal tournamenty and more i dunno... deicsions based i guess 
 
I think ultimately though, bungie took halo 3 in a bit of a different direction. Maybe not as hugely radical as halo 1 to halo 2, but it's pretty significant if you play the game a lot. I'm not quite sure how to describe it - It's kind of uh... everything has a more defined role. I honestly have no idea how to explain it though.
#30 Posted by Skytylz (4031 posts) -

When they came out, halo 2 was the better game of its time.  But side by side it's not really a comparison.

#31 Posted by Bones8677 (3225 posts) -

I played Halo 2 local multiplayer all the time when I was in High school. It was a great experience, I fell in love with it. But I'm in college now and I barely played Halo 3 at all. Plus it seems no matter what match I get into for Halo 3, the map is always snowbound, which I really don't care for. 
meh...

#32 Posted by Kyreo (4600 posts) -
@ajamafalous said:
" I feel that Halo 2 is to Halo 3 what Super Smash Bros. Melee is to Super Smash Bros. Brawl. "
Word.
#33 Posted by Stensby (47 posts) -

Halo 2 had better maps and a more balanced online experience. If you were a level 20 you were legit and proud of achieving such a hard level while Halo 3 has the booster accounts and fake 50s. Its a sad day for me, spending most of my summers on Halo 2 with friends and family. It will be missed.

#34 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2103 posts) -
@mshaw006 said:
" In my opinion, Halo 2 had much better maps. As far as the controls, all I can remember is that it felt better to play Halo 2 than it does to play Halo 3. "
I don't know about better... they just felt more "Halo" like.  I would have to say, like said earlier, the asymmetrical maps in Halo 3 are just not as well thought out as in Halo 2.
 
Plus, in Halo 3, a lot of the classic Halo:CE feel was totally pulled away, it seems more like a distant cousin than a direct descendant of the original Halo and even Halo 2.
#35 Edited by Fosssil (627 posts) -
@crunchUK said:

" Sure there's more things to it but at the end of the day you know precisely the outcome of a boring old halo 3 melee, and you can strategize accordingly.  At least that's how i feel. There's nothing to combat in an RTS, there's just 2 possibilities in the most basic form of combat, but precisely because of that the emphasis can be put on decision making and tactics.  At the end of the day everyone will eventually manage to learn a certain skill-based move, but strategies are ever evolving and dynamic. I guess that's why i think big team is the best way to play halo... and why i simply cannot understand what's so great about call of duty.  "

Making melee encounters more one-dimensional in this case accomplishes nothing in terms of improving the overall gameplay. At what point does a game become too simple, in your estimation? Affording players more inherent abilities and giving everyone access to a multitude of master-able skills is part of designing a good competitive game. I find it ironic that you take a shot at Call of Duty at the end of your post, yet with the bolded statement above you are advocating the same type of "dumbed-down" mechanics that have made that game such a casual, noob-friendly, "anyone who picks up the controller can win" style of game. 
  
Also, I don't understand your point about simplifying core gameplay to create a focus on strategy/tactics. The two aren't inversely related like that at all -- a more dynamic and skillful core game will inevitably raise the ceiling for the development of creative and inventive new strategies. In which game would you find more strategy and tactics: Checkers or Chess? Halo 3 is Checkers, Halo 1 is Chess, Halo 2 is somewhere in the middle.
 
EDIT: Better analogy than the one above: Halo 1 is Chess, Halo 2 is Checkers, Halo 3 is Tic-Tac-Toe.
 
You enjoy BTB because it offers players a wide variety of weapons, equipment, and vehicles that players can manipulate in different ways to create an unpredictable (though strategic) match every time. All I want from Bungie is a game that achieves that same type of gameplay depth inside the actual core mechanics (The Golden Trifecta: Guns, Grenades, Melee), instead of through the addition of a laundry list of sandbox items like Bubble Shields and Banshees. They did that with Halo 1 and to some extent Halo 2, but they failed to accomplish that in Halo 3.
#36 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Fosssil said:
" @crunchUK said:

" Sure there's more things to it but at the end of the day you know precisely the outcome of a boring old halo 3 melee, and you can strategize accordingly.  At least that's how i feel. There's nothing to combat in an RTS, there's just 2 possibilities in the most basic form of combat, but precisely because of that the emphasis can be put on decision making and tactics.  At the end of the day everyone will eventually manage to learn a certain skill-based move, but strategies are ever evolving and dynamic. I guess that's why i think big team is the best way to play halo... and why i simply cannot understand what's so great about call of duty.  "

Making melee encounters more one-dimensional in this case accomplishes nothing in terms of improving the overall gameplay. At what point does a game become too simple, in your estimation? Affording players more inherent abilities and giving everyone access to a multitude of master-able skills is part of designing a good competitive game. I find it ironic that you take a shot at Call of Duty at the end of your post, yet with the bolded statement above you are advocating the same type of "dumbed-down" mechanics that have made that game such a casual, noob-friendly, "anyone who picks up the controller can win" style of game.     Also, I don't understand your point about simplifying core gameplay to create a focus on strategy/tactics. The two aren't inversely related like that at all -- a more dynamic and skillful core game will inevitably raise the ceiling for the development of creative and inventive new strategies. In which game would you find more strategy and tactics: Checkers or Chess? Halo 3 is Checkers, Halo 1 is Chess, Halo 2 is somewhere in the middle.  EDIT: Better analogy than the one above: Halo 1 is Chess, Halo 2 is Checkers, Halo 3 is Tic-Tac-Toe.  You enjoy BTB because it offers players a wide variety of weapons, equipment, and vehicles that players can manipulate in different ways to create an unpredictable (though strategic) match every time. All I want from Bungie is a game that achieves that same type of gameplay depth inside the actual core mechanics (The Golden Trifecta: Guns, Grenades, Melee), instead of through the addition of a laundry list of sandbox items like Bubble Shields and Banshees. They did that with Halo 1 and to some extent Halo 2, but they failed to accomplish that in Halo 3. "
Um... no, i guess.  
 
Halo 3 is probably the most chess-like game of them all - You have many different things, all with very different and very defined roles. You can use all these different things to the best strategic extent to win. Halo 1/2, Everything bows down to the Br/M6D. In halo 2, an SMG/plasma rifle is no better close range than a BR, the vehicles are MUCH less powerful yet with similar spawn times to halo 3, resulting in even more BR prominence, and so on.  end result, checkers. It revolves around one thing which fills all the roles.
  
A game becomes too simple not when outBRing someone is of no importance, but when what you choose to do with the array of tools at your disposal has no effect. Except in halo 3 it has all the more effect. If i take your queen (your sniper, laser, vehicle...you choose), it's going to have quite significant consequences for the game. In halo 2, what queen is there to take?  
 
So there you go. What i think is going on here is the classic MLG fallacy of thinking that "skill" adds all the depth to a game. It doesn't - At the end of the day, improving your BR is pretty mindless.
#37 Posted by Fosssil (627 posts) -
@crunchUK said:

" Um... no, i guess.   Halo 3 is probably the most chess-like game of them all - You have many different things, all with very different and very defined roles. You can use all these different things to the best strategic extent to win. Halo 1/2, Everything bows down to the Br/M6D. In halo 2, an SMG/plasma rifle is no better close range than a BR, the vehicles are MUCH less powerful yet with similar spawn times to halo 3, resulting in even more BR prominence, and so on.  end result, checkers. It revolves around one thing which fills all the roles.  A game becomes too simple not when outBRing someone is of no importance, but when what you choose to do with the array of tools at your disposal has no effect. Except in halo 3 it has all the more effect. If i take your queen (your sniper, laser, vehicle...you choose), it's going to have quite significant consequences for the game. In halo 2, what queen is there to take?   So there you go. What i think is going on here is the classic MLG fallacy of thinking that "skill" adds all the depth to a game. It doesn't - At the end of the day, improving your BR is pretty mindless. "

You're vastly oversimplifying the gameplay of Halo 1 and Halo 2 (especially Halo 1), and overstating the complexity of Halo 3. Saying that "everything bows down to the M6D" is simply not true. Take it from someone who has spent hundreds of hours LANing Halo 1 against competent players: every single weapon (well, except for the Needler) in the weapon sandbox is widely utilized, and the Pistol does not perform better than a specialty weapon within that weapon's effective range (ie. it loses to Rockets at mid-range, Sniper at long-range, and Plasma Rifle/AR/Shotgun up close). It's not the unstoppable killing machine that many BNet posters (most of whom have never even played Halo 1 against anyone good) would have you believe it is. 
 
Now, I will agree with you that the BR was clearly a "God-tier" weapon in Halo 2, but that was largely because of the discovery of the weapon glitches. The widespread use of BXR and BXB completely upset the default balance of close-range combat, and made the SMG an even more inferior starting weapon. The 1.1 patch to the game also toned-down several of the more powerful dual-wield combos (Magnum/SMG and PR/SMG), further increasing the effectiveness of the BR. In a glitchless, pre-patch setting, the BR wasn't nearly as dominate.
 
Halo 3 isn't Chess-like at all outside of BTB. Only in a big team environment does the H3 sandbox reach its full potential -- the focus of combat is naturally placed on the more important weapons and equipment and vehicles, and the role of melees and grenades is inherently diminished based on the scale of the maps being used. In a 2v2 or 4v4 setting, that same diverse sandbox from BTB becomes cluttered and unbalanced. The shallowness of the game's core mechanics really comes to light in small-team matches. That lack of depth severely limits the amount of possible strats and hampers creative gameplay, resulting in a stalemate-filled style of gameplay reminiscent of Tic-Tac-Toe. 
 
MLG settings (which I had purposefully avoided discussing in my previous posts, but will address here since you brought them up :P) seem so vanilla and bland to most players because they remove those unbalanced pieces of the overall sandbox and cut the game down to its core mechanics. Unfortunately, at its core Halo 3 has a very small skill gap. I won't argue with you that working to improve one's BR is rather mindless, but people wouldn't spend so much time focusing on it if there were other challenging mechanics to learn. The other aspects of the game are so easy and have such a low skill ceiling that a player's BR becomes the only deciding factor in most fights. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to have a good BR in Halo 3 -- the default movement speed is so slow that strafing is barely useful (especially compared to the strafe speed of Halo 1), and the gun's large hitbox makes it even easier to hit an opponent. This video does a good job of comparing how the core gun and melee mechanics have been dumbed-down between Halo 1 and Halo 3:
  http://gameroom.mlgpro.com/view/ItLqFlLygPk.html
 
My final point will be in response to this statement that you made at the end of your post: 
 
"What i think is going on here is the classic MLG fallacy of thinking that "skill" adds all the depth to a game." 
 
I would contend that skill does add all of the depth to a game, because without skill every single in-game strategy would be useless. Think about a fighting game. Most fighting games are incredibly strategic, but even if a player has a vast knowledge of the gameplay and truly understands what works and what doesn't, they simply aren't going to win against a strong opponent unless they have enough dexterity to execute advanced combos. 
 
I'll move on to a Halo example. Knowing that I can disrupt the enemy team's opening rush on Standoff by hitting their Warthog with a well-placed grenade means nothing if I don't have the dexterity to aim my throw properly. Rushing straight for the contestable Spartan Laser in the middle of Valhalla to start a match is a good idea, but is only effective when the player doing the rushing is skilled enough to kill opponents that may get in his way. Placing a priority on controlling the map's lone Banshee on default Sandtrap means nothing if I don't have the skill to put it to good use. 
 
Every gameplay element requires skill, though the type of skill varies. It doesn't matter if the skill is purely reflexive, like mashing a button combo (BXR), or more strategic, like knowing how to disable a Warthog with a Plasma Pistol; a strategy is useless when the player attempting it lacks the appropriate amount of skill. At the end of the day though, the type of skill that you are advocating for and the type of skill that I am advocating for are so far removed that they really don't affect each other. I could pretty much care less about what skills are required to effectively fly a Banshee on Sandtrap, just as I'm sure you could care less about the type of skill required to teamshoot effectively on Heretic. Bungie has evolved the Halo series to the point that it almost exists in two separate realms: large team games that are vehicle-centric, and small-scale matches that place the focus on core mechanics. With Reach, I'd just like to see them add some "skill" back to those small team games.
#38 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Fosssil said:
 The other aspects of the game are so easy and have such a low skill ceiling that a player's BR becomes the only deciding factor in most fights.. "
Apart from the strategy of course. Being on top of the hill, ungrenadable with devastating sniper cover from wherever might be a deciding factor... 
 
@Fosssil said:
"
Halo 3 isn't Chess-like at all outside of BTB. Only in a big team environment does the H3 sandbox reach its full potential -- the focus of combat is naturally placed on the more important weapons and equipment and vehicles, and the role of melees and grenades is inherently diminished based on the scale of the maps being used. In a 2v2 or 4v4 setting, that same diverse sandbox from BTB becomes cluttered and unbalanced. The shallowness of the game's core mechanics really comes to light in small-team matches. That lack of depth severely limits the amount of possible strats and hampers creative gameplay, resulting in a stalemate-filled style of gameplay reminiscent of Tic-Tac-Toe. 
   
Except "core mechanics" take a step back to make room for more in depth strategizing. There may not be a significant range in halo 3 as to what can be accomplished with say, melee (since that was what this was all about... right?), but at the same time because the abilities of melee are much better defined it allows you to make decisions based on it. As a very simple example, someone jumps you with an AR. You can either try for a double beatdown, with a high chance of not getting a kill, or you can backpedal bringing him into the sight of a teammate who was in a good position to cover you because your team was strategically well set up and be saved. You can't put acounter on a checker in chess in any more or less effective way by banging it down or juggling it, it's 100%n what you place where in conjunction with the 31 other pieces that differentiates a grandmaster from a 5 year old. (And that was what was so awesome about TO, the strategy was more than everything. Throwback.... just isn't the same)
 
In halo 2 you have the higher skill and can BXR him or whatever, but before you can do that you need to learn to BXR. And that's just a pointless hoop to jump through, it's as if you reflexed your way to what is like getting an upgrade to ODSTs in halo wars.(only to a lesser extent). Who cares about sending in antivehicle vehicles to combat their anti personnel vehicles first or whatever when you can just ALL UNITS your way to victory because you have an inherent advantage through being able to pull off a button combo? Which leads me to... 
 
@Fosssil said:
a strategy is useless when the player attempting it lacks the appropriate amount of skill. "
Exactly. Why keep that pointless and quite frankly boring obstacle in there? Of course you need to know how to fly a banshee, but that is almost ENITRELY decision and judgement based (I should know, #3 UK banshee pilot on haloCharts). Deciding which angle is the best to expose the enemy team in cover in the base trying to stick you, judging when's a good time to pull up to avoid getting boarded, deciding how to approach a group of enemies without leaving yourself vulnerable at low speeds and close ranged for stickies/boardings/PDs... when to emerge from your rock when the laser guy is distracted... and that's how everything in the game should be like in my opinion. That's the direction halo 3 took, and it's better than halo 2 ever was. I'm sure watching all the practicing and reflexes bearing fruit is very satisfying, but it's not what makes a game. 
#39 Posted by AaronAlex (182 posts) -

I thought Halo 2's online was far more enjoyable.  
That's not to say Halo 3's online was bad by any means, just Halo 2 felt alot more "tight". 
Also, lockout. ( or whatever it was called )

#40 Posted by Fosssil (627 posts) -
@crunchUK said:
" Apart from the strategy of course. Being on top of the hill, ungrenadable with devastating sniper cover from wherever might be a deciding factor...
I was referring specifically to an encounter inside of an MLG gametype. Obviously a top-notch BR means much, much less in a BTB match.
 
Anyway, I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree; the only thing that we're really arguing now is personal preference. 
 
Personally, I don't play Halo for top-down, analytical strategy. If I wanted a game that required strategy but not dexterity, I'd go play Chess, or a card-game like Magic: The Gathering, or some RTS like Starcraft (although that game does require a great deal of dexterity in order to keep up with a quality opponent). I play (competitive) Halo because I enjoy its sport-like nature, and the fact that it requires players to not only think strategically but also to execute skillfully. A (non-RTS) Halo game that completely removes the physical skill gap and places the sole emphasis on tactics is not one worth playing in my eyes. There are plenty of other games out there that offer more challenge and depth of strategy than Halo; the skillful elements of the game are what makes it fun.
#41 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Fosssil said:
. There are plenty of other games out there that offer more depth of strategy than Halo;  "
The disappointing thing is there actually aren't (FPS at least). The only one with a similar focus that springs to mind is team fortress 2... which is really the only class based game i ever played that wasn't a complete joke come to think of it. And completely different to halo anyway.
#42 Posted by CoolDrMoney (1978 posts) -

The Halo 2 maps embarrass the Halo 3 maps. For me, the gameplay differences are a wash, they both have their own strengths and weaknesses, and both area lot of fun to play online. The map discrepancy is big though. 

#43 Posted by DystopiaX (5300 posts) -

yes. Melee was better, BR was better, Sniper was better, Maps were better, MM was better.

#44 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -
@DystopiaX: Also: sweet pictures when you hit rank 45 and up.
#45 Posted by DystopiaX (5300 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok: and, you know, getting a 50 was actually hard, even with boosters.
#46 Posted by Kyle (2323 posts) -

I find Halo 3 to be categorically better than Halo 2 in every possible way. Except for the fact that it doesn't have Blood Gulch or Hang 'Em High. I don't care if Blood Gulch is dumb. It's awesome-dumb and I want it.

#47 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -
@Kyle said:
" I find Halo 3 to be categorically better than Halo 2 in every possible way. Except for the fact that it doesn't have Blood Gulch or Hang 'Em High. I don't care if Blood Gulch is dumb. It's awesome-dumb and I want it. "
I'd like to see some of the bigger Halo 2 maps to return in Reach. They likely won't. But eh.

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