Frank O'Connor Ramblings - significant, or not
Frank O'Connor Ramblings - significant, or not
I pick up on ramblings of OuterWorldVoice/Stinkles (Frank O'Connor) on NeoGAF quite often. I will stick some of them in here.
I may raise some of these as separate topics too.
People are nervous about any change. It's one of the inherent tensions in making a sequel - and that terror sometimes impedes evolution or improvement. Of course, it sometimes prevents catastrophic change.
The game needs to move forward to stay healthy and it needs to change to evolve. There are two things that you should bear in mind when thinking about that, if you're conservative and calmness is all that's required. One, is that the game is customizable enough to reduce additions back to a ground level, but two and more importantly, the changes are not simply being slapped on willy nilly. They're carefully thought out, considered and balanced. And ones that don't pass muster, you will never get to try.
I can tell you bluntly that it "feels" 100% like Halo, without a shadow of a doubt. It's an evolution, not a reset or a reimagining. There will be loads of new stuff to learn, get used to or reject, as with any Halo sequel, but it won't feel alien (except, you know, the alien bits).
For those expecting a podcast release this weekend, don't. All of the information you're getting at this point is from leaked scans of the GI article. As is the case with all cover stories, the magazine needs to start hitting more hands before we offer full clarifications.
I will say this, some of the conclusions that are being reached are not entirely accurate. Some of the mp items mentioned in the story have changed since the media visit. I can't really say too much more at this time, but please be patient while we begin clarifying and answering questions in the near future.
As Frank has said previously, we knew some elements of the Halo mp evolution would be controversial in some circles, while many others would be less so. Keep in mind that none of these design decisions have been made lightly, but have been carefully thought out and continue to be tweaked based on feedback from people playing the game.
And yes, Spartan Ops is as awesome as it sounds. Can't wait to share more.
The magazine scans were always going to come out the day after the cover debuted, that almost always happens. We can't talk about the story in detail, because it is GI's exclusive. I will say that some of the things that "invested, emotional" players are "raising eyebrows slightly at" are being very misinterpreted ("random" weapon spawns for example) but we will be able to clarify some of those things in due time.
Some of the other features, abilities, are also being discussed with no context (not your guys' fault, obviously) and frankly, a video of TS would probably allay many of the especially hysterical reactions, but we're not there yet.
We haven't seen a single reaction we didn't expect (apart from the Dax love story) and we will clarify a lot of this stuff 100% in the coming weeks and months. SOME of the things in here won't be properly understood outside of a holistic experience (modes, progress, fictional setting, etc) but I am going to say one thing and leave it at that:
It feels like Halo, it does NOT feel or act like the other game(s) it's being compared to. Again, without playing it, you can't be blamed for jumping to certain conclusions.
You cannot start with snipers whenever you want. (unless you are playing a sniper mode)
The weapon drops are not "random." They are telegraphed and in some ways, predictable. There is variation, however. Map control will still be key, but yes, changed. Custom games will be heavily customizeable, and initial playlists will be clean and focused. Players will not be presented with stacksof lists, but there will be variety for different tastes.
David Ellis 4.8.12
We will not be talking about ranking or progression in detail for a while. We are not using TruSkill in the same way Reach did. That's about all we can say for now.
Suffice it to say the game will match people appropriately - Tashi to Kyle, for example, and me to WalshOgreSkrillexTwinBlains.
All weapons can and will be available "normally" in the sandbox in Campaign and or MP - depending on game mode. "Unlock" and loadout info will come in the weeks and months ahead. But I wouldn't worry about it. Be like freaking out because you start with Snipers in Team Snipers.
Obviously we have a lot of features and content to explain - some stuff we haven't even touched on. But the main band aid has already been ripped off. I suspect that most news from hereon out (with occasional rage diversions) will be good news for the vast majority of players and styles of players.
We're a new team. We're making changes. You can't try them yourselves yet. There is no other way to state it. We can't guarantee you'll like the changes, but we can state unambiguously that we think you'll like them, because most of these changes are things we would be (naturally) afraid of on paper, but found they worked great when implemented, so we're in a lot of ways, similar to you guys in terms of expectations, but with the comparative luxury of having tried and experienced them.. Ergo we have to politely request trust and keep feeding more and more information. And we have to ask for trust. If in the end, you decide it's not fun, or not the game for you, that request will still have been a polite request for patience while we roll out information. You don't have to trust us, but we still have to ask. It's manners.
Video and gameplay will go a long way to making people's minds up, and that will happen, but right now, all we have to work with is that.
Personally? I liked them, except Armor Lock, but always felt like the ambiguity and randomness of what I could be encountering was scary. Like, will I get a game full of holograms? Will I only be fighting Jetpackers? Etc. Of course I say that as someone who uses Sprint, almost exclusively. If it were rock, paper, scissors, I always used rock, no matter what.
Halo 4 will feel different. For lots of reasons.
"Paper" is not a literal term. Implementation and tools can be instantenous, or quick and iteration is constant. Nobody writes a list fo features and puts it on the production slate. They try, test, prototype, hone and implement. And LOTS of things do not make the cut either as ideas, or after failed prototyping. That's just how it works.
I agree with you. Rich cool people play with one screen liek Richie Rich. Cool kids who are charitable play with 2 player split screen, like BJ McKay and his Best Friend Bear. Brady Bunch maniacs do four player split screen and I assume they fail at SWAT a lot. BUT - Halo 4 still supports four player split screen for MP - Brad was conflating co-op, I suspect.
Anything dropped by another player is useable, all maps/modes (specialty lists like Snipers, for example, obviously ignore this rule) will contain at least one appropriate loadout UNSC "role" weapon, which would be DMR or BR depending on map. As described above. Ordnance is separate system from that, obviously.
We are HUGE fans of adjectives, verbs and nouns.
CTF UI is currently masterful, as an example. You know who's flag got taken, by whom and more importantly, kind of what you should do about it.
This was always a frustration of mine with ANY fps - it just kind of assumed you were an old pro at Counterstrike.
This is what CyReN said.
- Intro for Halo 4 (expand from NY one last week)
- Vidoc about MP (Carnage Carnivale ish)
This is what Frankie replied.
Ergo, implication of MP Vidoc at E3 and or Campaign Intro similar to what was shown at the NY Press event.
Regarding No dedicated servers for Halo 4.
I found that late 40s was effectively meaningless - so polluted was it by boosters etc. Of course 30 seconds of gaming could disprove that on a case by case basis. Late 30s, early 40s meant I was going to get donged on.
Anyway, we have a couple of things we're looking at.
There's no issue with the system, or the nomenclature - it's the poitioning and perceived value. This is one of those instances where you should be careful what you wish for and the law of unintended consequences. But we have some ideas.
We are not using the Arena ranking system from Reach.
I just ripped the entire Halo 4 soundtrack to a more portable format from the GIANT uncompressed files. Right now it's about 100 tracks of stuff. Obviously the OST will be way less than that, given variants and vignettes. We have an opportunity to work with some VERY amazing electronic musicians and one or two vocalists to do a second disc of remixes the OST disc would be 'pure' to avoid breaking any Benjamins. But I think it would be pretty badass.
But goddamn does Neil Davidge have good taste in 'instruments.' there are some sounds in this that I just can't stop getting goosebumps from. Especially given the fictional context for some of these moments.
We listen to these tracks on Mackie studio monitors and the amount of detail is absolutely insane. When I think about these getting jammed through stereo speakers on a TV (including mine in one room) I sob a little.