1. Previews En Masse

      written by Ray Benefield
      So I've had the Halo: Reach Complete Gametype Settings for a while now and I've enjoyed browsing through the possibilities. Today's post will cover multiple gametype previews that you will see when Reach comes out. For those who aren't familiar with my content creation style, I focus heavily on doing things that no one else would even think about. I will find quirky new settings and find a way to abuse them and make a great game with them. Some of you have already read about my new Flatline gametype. That is probably going to be my favorite at first, but these will be just as creative and fun. Enjoy my friends... and see yall tomorrow when I bring you lesson 19.

      The Plague

      So I'm pretty sure this is just a temp name but whatever. This first gametype is focused around Headhunter. Headhunter is a crazy game of collecting skulls and returning them to the drop point to score points. Well people can easily just run around collect skulls, dodge fire, and then drop them off. This made sprint more useful then most AAs. Well what if it took some skill to actually get the skull to the drop point and all armor abilities were equal? What if you didn't just straight grab skulls, but you had to pick them up at opportune times? How do I create this new strategical aspect for headhunter? Well skull carriers have their own specific traits. In order to disuade players from carelessly picking them up I'm going to weaken you in some way when you are carrying a skull, most likely taking away your shields. Also when you are a skull carrier your armor abilities will be disabled. So no more everyone choosing sprint as your AA for headhunter. Now your AAs only matter when you are collecting skulls. One more twist I am going to add is based around an interesting setting for headhunter. You can set it so that players only drop skulls when they get headshotted... I'm turning that on. But even more so, skull carriers will be immune to headshots. So anyone already carrying a skull will never drop skulls. Players will spawn with a pistol main and AR secondary. Headshot weapons will be used to get skull from players, while rapid fire weapons will be used to quickly kill skull carriers. Use your pistol for non skull carriers and your AR for skull carriers. Skull carriers will also be colored black to show they are "infected". This gametype will be playable on all maps made for Headhunter. There are several more details I'm leaving out since this is getting kinda long lol...


      So ever since Halo 1 we have had a custom game setting called Respawn Time Growth that says whenever you die your respawn timer increases. I've been trying to come up with a good gametype to utilize it for a while now and I finally came up with something good. Imagine one territory that encompasses the whole map that you are playing on. It is instantly contested by the other team. You only gain points by controlling the territory uncontested. Hmmm... what this creates is the scenario that whenever someone on the opposing team is alive you are unable to gain points. With respawn time growth as you kill the opposing team each of their respawn timers grow. The goal is to kill each person on the opposing team enough so that their whole team is in respawn at the same time, allowing you to control the territory uncontested and gain points. The gametype is named because the requirement of getting an extermination in regular gameplay is to have the whole opposing team spawning at the same time because you killed them so fast. You have to work with your team to ensure that there is always one player alive at all times and this gets harder and harder to do as players die and have longer respawn times. All of the armor abilities will be available except for Camo and Jetpack because these two allow you to hide in some way or another. You will also have enhanced radar and possibly a bigger radar so players cannot hide. It is all about out playing and out strategizing the opposing team. This gametype will be playable on all maps that are built with one territory covering the whole map. Again there are more smaller details, but this is getting long.


      In Halo 3 I created a gametype called Hot Potato that utilized auto pickup and weakened settings for the oddball carrier to encourage players to only pick up the ball when it was time to kill someone. You were able to throw it at people to make them weak and grenade the ball to people to make them a target. With the lack of kill scoring for oddball I am unable to create this. So I am remaking the feel of the gametype in a different way. Imagine every player on the map being invincible (and immune to assassinations of course). The oddball is set to automatically pickup when someone touches it. The oddball carrier is now vulnerable with no shields, no health recharge, and a certain amount of damage resistance to allow them to stay alive only for a short amount of time. The only way for you to get points is to have that oddball and suffer the consequences. Typically this would be kind of boring since once you pickup the ball you are pretty much a sitting duck and target of everyone. So when you have the oddball you also have infinite evade in order to run around and out maneuver players for as long as you can before it is time to throw the ball at someone, die or just plain drop it. Players have no health recharge so in order to heal your health to pick up the ball safely you have to find a medpack. This will stop players from dropping the ball just to gain their health back and then repicking up the ball to gain more points. This will be playable on all maps that can play oddball. Again small details are missing, but I've got them figured out.

      Wrap up

      This is just a small dose of some of the crazy innovative gametypes that I have planned. All three gametypes as well as my other gametype preview Flatline are all competitive gametypes with a new gameplay feeling attached to them and new strategies revolving around them that make them play completely differently than the conventional default gametypes. I hope you enjoyed this little preview and if you have any nitpicky questions feel free to ask them. If you have a suggestion, feel free to throw it out there and I'll tell you if I already thought about it or not and whether it is a good idea that I might add. Oh and I'm taking new names for each of them if you think you have a good clever and catchy name for any of them. Remember to check out the Forge Lessons I have been writing to improve your map design skills. Anyone can make a map in Halo: Reach, but not everyone can make fun, balanced, and great maps that can get into matchmaking. Some examples of topics that I cover are smooth spawning, perspectives, eye catching, incentives, deterrents, color contrast, innovation, etc. Tomorrow I release lesson 19 and a new one every other day after that.


      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Very nice, I think I am going to like "The Plague" the most. It seems the most interesting.

      My list of favorites so far is:
      1. The Plague
      2. Flatline
      3. Extermination
      4. Screwball

      Flatline, well you already know my opinion on it. I definately want to try this.

      I like extermination because it sounds really fun, and its a fight to who ever runs out of "troops" first. Alot like the Civil war, if you look at it.

      Screwball seems very frustrating but also very fun. I want to try it, but I will most likely rage quit out of anger. Lol

      Neo Arkitect said...

      How are non-skull carriers going to get head shotted if they have shields? Unless I read that wrong and nobody is going to have shields? If non-skull carriers have shields it would be pretty unfair for skull carriers, since they have no shields and have to land 5 perfect head shots on non-skull carriers.

      For extermination, are you sure you can make a territory that big? It would be awesome if you can but I'm not sure on that. That gametype does sound incredible though...kind of reminds me of conquest.

      Screwball sounds amazingly fun as well, and is probably my favorite of the bunch. I'd also experiment with some differing levels of speed enhancement (both negative and positive) for the ball carrier in addition to somewhere around 200% damage resistance.

      If you get the main game type right, I also just got an idea for a spin off game type of Screwball - Predator Ball. I'm thinking I could experiment with all of your described settings, and give the ball carrier maximum radar, 300% speed, 300% jump height, and 1000% damage resistance (with no shields), and give everyone else AR's with bottomless clips. The ball carrier would slowly lose health to pot shots here and there, but if taking sustained combined fire from everyone simultaneously he'll go down relatively quickly. 300% speed, 300% jump, and infinite evade should make him a hard target to track and give him an chance to outrun 7 bottomless AR's.

      What do you think?

      BadCompany Brik said...

      Hmm, I see a potential gameplay exploit in the Plague, although it does look like a [i] very [/i] fun game otherwise.

      You may recall during the Beta that some people would employ the strategy of hanging out near the skull drop points. They would then kill people right before they got there so they could pick up multiple skulls right beside the drop point and make easy money.

      Obviously this wouldn't get you the skulls in that gametype, but in collaboration with a friend you could assign one person to stand in the drop point and kill the weak carriers, while the other person gets to deposit uncontested.

      And lastly, Extermination seems to be [i] extremely [/i] camp friendly by nature. Although it does look interesting to play Big Team. Also, maybe even multi team? I'd be really curious to see how that would play out.

      BadCompany Brik said...

      Oh wow, I instinctively put in bungie.net BB code for italics... if you can add that, you should bold + italics + underline to these response (and links too.)

      Sotha said...

      The plague sounds rather fun. I really like what you have done to the skull carriers, making it not so much of a race, as compared to a strategy and prevention game. I can't wait to play.

      And you know what I said about Extermination. I just think that's really funny; like what are the chances. And neither of us made it back in Halo 3 either. Well, good luck with it. I'd love to be a tester.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Neo, the ball carriers are immune to headshots, the others must use a non-headshot weapon to kill them, hence the Assault Rifle.

      As for my blogger account, I got fed up with having to switch accounts between youtube and here so now I am just going to do the Name/Url.

      Silver0range said...

      I had an idea for an OVERBOARD-esque gametype in headhunter where skulls would weaken you or something and you had to avoid them and it was kill-based scoring, but then the settings foiled me! Oh well.

      As for Screwball, be careful, because I feel like the gameplay could be reduced to a campfest of the ball and immediate focus firing of whoever picks it up. Depends on how well evade works, I guess.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      That does kind of suck. I hate that they took away kill scoring for most of the gametypes. It makes me sad.

      As for screwball I'm not too worried. It will be like hot potato in which there will only be a few players and the point is to campfest the ball. You only get points when having the ball so it kind of balances out. I can see grievers being dicks about it though, but we shall see. And like you said, hopefully evade works well.

      And I know right sotha... you and I definitely think alike and that is awesome.

      And Brik you can add bold and italics to your posts. You just have to use html, not BBCode. I have been looking at upgrading the comment system, but it's a pain lol...

      And as for people working together in The Plague people can do the same thing in Slayer. Since players don't get skulls from kill those running to the drop point I'm not too worried about it.

      And Neo you won't have to land 5 direct headshots... you only have to finish them with a headshot. So basically you just play regular headhunter except you only get skulls if you finish the person with a headshot. And that is the point. It is supposed to be more difficult to get skulls. The game will only play to like 10 points. I'll be adjusting it until it feels perfect.

      Neo Arkitect said...

      ooooooh ok now I see. I thought the only way to kill non-skull carriers was with a head shot.

      Noklu said...

      In extermination, you might want to ensure that players do not get bored in respawn times as some players will quit or be annoyed.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I agree... that may be my main problem. I'm hoping that players helping each other out trying to find the opponents will keep the occupied enough... who knows. I'm just going to have to tweak them til we figure it out.

      Noklu said...

      I believe you can create camera locations players can scroll through while dead. The issue with that is you have to ensure a balance between keeping respawning players involved and ensuring the cameras do not possess too wide a view so live players can still move about unseen. I would suggest about three or so cameras on map.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I haven't fully gotten into exploring the cameras but I will be writing a basic static perspective lesson in the future.

      Anonymous said...

      Great post! Maybe you could do a follow up on this topic :D