1. The Power of Bro Slayer

      written by Ray Benefield
      So I know I promised to let you guys in on my next map design project, but I had to pause this effort with the introduction of Bro Slayer. Just to give you guys a heads up there is a new version of Affinity on my fileshare. It is now updated to play both Bro Slayer and Invasion Skirmish. Enjoy folks. Oh and trust me it plays SOOO much better with Bro Slayer than Team Slayer. Bro Slayer is also in the same fileset so you can download it there as well. I'll let you guys in on the project soon I swear. For now enjoy Bro Slayer. You won't regret it. ;) I'll be playing it as much as physically possible.



      So let's talk about Bro Slayer. Before getting into specifics. I want to take the time to thank Bungie. In my opinion, Bro Slayer is the best thing to happen to Halo since Forge 2.0 and Forgeworld. Ever since playing the beta, I have always strongly believed that Halo Reach's spawn system should utilize the bro spawning and backfield spawn selection system featured in Invasion. Below you will find out why.


      Benefits of the system


      The main thing that makes Bro Spawning a better system is that Bro Spawning takes away the one truly uncontrollable element that Halo players have to deal with when playing... spawning. In normal Team Slayer, we have to succumb to the decisions of some calculation and are told where to spawn. After it makes the decision we have to figure out where we are. Bro Spawning fixes that in multiple aspects and gives the player the power to decide how his next life is going to start out. Below is a bulleted list of all things that are good with the Bro Spawning system... in no particular order. Bro Spawning will be acronym-ed to [BS]. lol...

      • BS allows the players to put their spawn into their own hands, instead of the hands of a computer
      • Because players choose their own spawn, there is a whole 'nother level of tactical gameplay added to to standard Halo Gameplay
      • Players have the chance to spawn closer to the action keeping the game fast paced and action packed
      • Players are able to look around before they spawn to help orient themselves while in pure safety instead of having to orient themselves while having to take caution around them
      • Players are able to communicate with their team to allow for more advanced strategies like spawn flanking and team support
      • Spawn areas discourage enemy camping as an enemy can get jumped by a player spawning
      • Because players can switch between many different perspectives it makes it easier for them to learn the map while they are spawning, when in normal slayer spawning is considered downtime
      • The time during spawning is much more informative and allows a dead player to play a more important role instead of having to wait 'til they spawn to make crucial decisions that can help the team; Do you wait for your bro to get to safety or do you spawn near him and try to get to him?
      • Because spawning is now selected by players, there is a whole counter strategy in figuring out where your opponents are deciding to respawn
      • Because spawn areas are less favorable for the enemy as camp spots it puts more traffic and more focus into the spots of the map that matter most



      All of the above is from the playing aspect of BS. BS is a very powerful system for map designers as well. Below are a few points as to why map designers would prefer the BS system as opposed to the Team Slayer system.


      • If a player has a bad spawn it is typically due to their own decision and it is not the designers fault
      • Setting up BS only requires initial spawns and around 3-5 hill markers for each team labeled and set to a particular team... this takes less then 5 minutes rather than having to figure out spawns for nearly an hour because you have to place each individual one and worry about each one's direction
      • Because BS takes so little time to setup a designer can spend more time playtesting their map and improving its aspects instead of stressing about spawn issues
      • Thanks to the spawn camera feature of the system players can look around before they spawn meaning that they notice weapons, paths, and other things much easier because they have the time to look at them while they can't move
      • The spawn camera also allows players to relate the current area to the relative position of their teammates allowing them to learn your map faster in their mind being able to draw it out much better
      • Because you can have multiple spawn cameras you can use them to introduce a whole new area that a player may never discover in their first play through unless they randomly explored the map


      Possible Flaws in the system


      There are TONS more reasons why the BS system is much more powerful than the current spawning system. I will admit that the BS system is not all powerful, it does have its flaws and many people are discovering these. Below are just a few off of the top of my head.


      • If there are not enough spawn areas in enough varying locations the opposing team can easily setup a spawn trap using long range weapons
      • The waypoint above player's heads takes away a player's element of surprise
      • The waypoint can be used to grief teammates by constantly trying to spawn on one player revealing his position to all other opposing players
      • For every spawn area used the map effectively becomes smaller as enemy players will be wary of traversing into spawn hives; if spawn areas aren't setup right, this can lead to disasterour unfun gameplay, giving the spawning player TOO much advantage


      Maybe the BS system is not optimal for matchmaking gameplay due to having to play with a bunch of players that you are unfamiliar with. The BS system almost feels like sometimes you need a good team for it to be amazing. Then again, because YOU chose where to spawn it can be favorable since you can use your decision making skills to improve your own gameplay rather than have to suffer to the bad decisions of your teammates. Because in the normal system you spawn farther away from teammate deaths and closer to where teammates are. The BS system allows you to go against that if your team is not as good as you would like them to be. Like any system, it has its pros and cons. IMO the pros heavily outweigh the cons.


      Suggestions/Requests


      Below are a couple of suggestions/requests for the BS system.


      • Because the waypoint feature takes away the element of surprise it renders the active camo ability less then effective. To remedy this I would love to see one of two things. Either players with active camo turned on cannot be selected as spawn targets (they have to turn off camo to spawn a teammate), OR remove waypoints from players when they have active camo turned on. Personally I think the first solution would work best
      • Please take the time to consider suiting each gametype with the BS system and setting up a section of playlists for Bro gametypes. This would have many advantages to it for objective games if you think about it closely. I would be MORE than grateful if we were to get a bro version of each gametype.
      • For the maps that support Bro Slayer, please consider adding one more spawn area for each team. Of the maps I have played there is not enough variety of choice and it allows teams to easily spawn camp players. A good example is Boardwalk. I am aware that adding spawn areas renders those areas a bad place for combat, but if low traffic areas can be turned into spawn areas it would be MUCH better for gameplay. This is just a suggestion, I don't want to tell you guys how to run your own game.


      A wrap-up and a thanks


      In closing I want to finish with another thanks. The BS system is a very powerful thing and gives players more control over their halo experience. In my opinion it has improved the game's gameplay exponentially. It also makes throwing together map prototypes for testing SOOO much easier. And as a forger, I am very happy about that. I don't have to spend hours of my time picking nice spawn points and can focus more on the actual layout of the map. Also I can get to playing the map MUCH sooner and feeling the rewards of my labor. I'm sure many other forgers will appreciate this as time goes on. And I hope that the section of the halo community that doesn't enjoy the BS system right now highly reconsiders their opinion and gives it another try. Thanks again and keep up the great work Bungie. ;)

      4 comments:

      Impact Strafe said...

      I enjoyed Bro Slayer a lot, it gave much more action and helped with the fluidity of maps

      Schnitzel said...

      Bro spawning is a crutch for designers that can't master the spawn system as is. If you need it to set up a decent spawn system for your map then you're a poor forger IMO. With BS you loose the tactics of setting up to force spawns, the inherent spawn trapping that comes with, and the need for a outlet/safe spawn zone in the case of a spawn trap. I think it over simplifies on of the game dynamics that makes Halo so enjoyable. If I wanted bro spawning I'd go play CoD.

      Miles3298 said...

      Spawning on your Bro, co-op style is what all true warriors strive for.

      Love that new BRO_SPAWN_LOC label.

      Captainpineapple44 said...

      Hey Godly can you upload something new onto the site? its been a month