A Pro Gamer's Halo 4 Wishlist

MLG's Tom "Tsquared" Taylor talks to us about how the latest on Halo 4 has affected his hopes for the direction of the franchise.

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After announcing Halo 4 last June, Microsoft and 343 Industries have begun talking about Master Chief's next adventure in earnest. On the story side, they're promising a darker narrative that explores the Chief's motivations and personal qualities. In terms of multiplayer, well, there's a lot more news to digest. Among the highlights are a deeper progression system that goes beyond Reach's cosmetic unlocks--what 343 is calling a "story wrapper" around the multiplayer action, and the promise that none of the maps will be recycled from the campaign. Have a look at the video below to get the full picture:

While 343 certainly has some big shoes to fill after taking over the series from Bungie, a number of Halo fans were turned off by Bungie's work on the multiplayer in Halo: Reach. Among those diehard Halo fans is pro gamer Tom "Tsquared" Taylor. After making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year playing Halo titles on the MLG circuit, Taylor has found himself questioning the future of the franchise he built his professional career on over the years. We talked to Taylor about what he'd like to see out of Halo 4's multiplayer in order to bring his love for the franchise back to its former levels.

Skill-based matchmaking and a return to clans

When it comes to matchmaking, there are two things Taylor wants to see in Halo 4: a return to 1-50 skill rankings across all match types and a proper clan system. "When you remove skill rankings, you get these people who have never played a certain playlist going against people who have played it 200 times," says Taylor. "They do that to improve the time barrier, but I would much rather wait around for a quality Halo match."

Taylor doesn't necessarily have a problem with rankings based on experience points, which reflect time spent with the game rather than one's skill level. In fact, he thinks the two systems can work side by side. "If they can find a balance between the two, that would be great. There's nothing wrong with giving the experienced players a shot to play with the skilled players," he says. Just make sure skill level bears the brunt of the matchmaking work.

As for clans, Taylor sees those as an invaluable tool for hardcore players to keep their competitive and personal lives organized online. "Clans are a way for you to have an additional friends list," says Taylor. "You can only have 100 friends on Xbox Live, and some of them are your real friends that you play with casually. But with a clan you can get on Halo, and boom, there are all your Halo friends."

Bring back the wayward battle rifle

With this one, Taylor is in luck. He wants to see the old battle rifle make a return minus any reticle "bloom" causing the weapon to become inaccurate in long bursts--and that's just what 343 has promised for Halo 4.

However, Taylor can see a compromise between the battle rifle of old and Halo 4's approach to gameplay-changing unlockable items. That is to say, he wouldn't mind doing away with bloom if it meant having to unlock a certain weapon attachment first. According to Taylor, such a system "would give an introduction to the game and a reason to get good at it."

More original maps, more often

Taylor is happy to hear that 343 won't be sharing environments across the story and multiplayer campaigns like in Halo: Reach. "That gives me a lot of confidence," says Taylor. "I don't think there were a lot of great Halo: Reach maps. When I think 'great,' I would go with Zealot. That was the only one that was absolutely amazing."

But Taylor would also like to see 343 hit the ground running with new map offerings beyond what's on the disc. "That's always something that Halo has done really well, but they just came short with the Forge system," says Taylor. "They thought that Forge was going to overtake everything and produce a lot of maps, but it didn't. And it took a little longer than expected for Reach's maps to come out."

The Chief is in 343's hands now.

Get more people involved in Forge

If you read that last item and assumed Taylor dislikes the Forge system, you'd be wrong. He's actually a tremendous fan of some of the original maps that have come from Forge, but wants to see players given better tools for making maps and a better system for those maps to really catch on. Provided 343 winds up bringing Forge back (they haven't confirmed one way or the other yet), his first wish is a simple one: let players create maps that aren't so drab. "There's no paint tool in Forge, yet the colors are so vibrant in the game as you can see with other maps. When you go back and talk to your friends who have barely played Halo, they're like, 'Oh, I love that one map with the sand.' But there are no maps like that with Forge. They're all gray."

Taylor believes better creation tools will allow for more creativity and, thus, attract more people to create maps. "It's a pretty small community, but there are people dedicating hours and hours to building these maps. Because it's not easy if you've ever tried to build one. I just wish there was a little more incentive to build these maps. If they fix the coloring problem, and add snow or sand or other attributes, I think that would be amazing."

Lose the armor abilities, but keep the custom loadouts

Taylor enjoyed what Halo: Reach's armor abilities brought to the story campaign but thought certain abilities were too unpredictable and unbalanced in a multiplayer setting. "I liked the jetpack a lot. The evade was a little too much. So was sprint. And nothing was more frustrating than armor lock," remarks Taylor. "When you add those to your playlist, you're telling everyone that's how you want your game to be played. And that's not fun."

That doesn't mean Taylor wants to see custom loadouts done away with entirely. Halo 4 will give players the chance to earn new weapons and abilities with a progression system similar to Call of Duty, and Taylor is confident 343 can build such a system without throwing off the balance between new and veteran players. "Halo has always been about balance. Halo: Reach had some really great ideas, but it just fell short on a couple of them."

Discussion

156 comments
Sergeant-muzien
Sergeant-muzien

Who cares what this tsquared D-BAG thinks, wow good at a video game and not much else. MLG has pussy rules on what you can and can not use. so when you play anyone of those million random little kids that say they are MLG but are far from, they want to play MLG rules,so dumb. MAKE THIS GAME FOR EVERYBODY, AND ALSO THE PEOPLE THAT CRY ABOUT CAMPING

 

geomartin84
geomartin84

ONE THING THEY SHOULD, DO IN MY OPINION, IS THEY SHOULD HAVE THE ENERGY IN THE ENERGY SWORD GRADUALLY DEPLETE THE LONGER YOU HAVE IT OUT LIKE THE CHARGED PLASMA PISTOL. THAT WAY YOU WOULD'T HAVE AS MANY LIL' CAMPERS JUST CROUCHING IN CORNERS WITH THE SWORD OUT. I ALSO THINK THE MELEE SHOULD BE POWERED DOWN LIKE IN HALO:CE TO CUT DOWN ON THE SPRINT/MELEE KIDS. ARMOR LOCK SHOULD STAY BUT ONLY IN CERTAIN VARIANTS AND I THINK YOUR HEALTH SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO REGENERATE WHEN IT IS IN USE. SPRINT SHOULD BE STANDARD BUT TWEAKED A LITTLE. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, IS IF THEY DO KEEP THE BLOOM IT NEEDS TO BE THE SMALLER BLOOM, LIKE THE TU BLOOM. THE FULL STANDARD BLOOM WAS JUST TOO MUCH ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU PLAY LATE AT NIGHT AND YOU'RE EITHER PLAYING PEOPLE FROM MEXICO OR FRANCE AND THE CONNECTION IS A LITTLE OFF. 

Carswell38
Carswell38

If 343 just took everything from Halo 2 and then updated it. It would be a best seller.  Halo 2 and 3 were awesome, but Halo Reach just sucked.  I hate the fact that they added sprint in, no one wants the game to play like cod.  We played Halo BECAUSE it was different from cod!

 

 

 In my opinion not one halo has fixed the problem that players quit out of matches.  An easy fix would be to not allow a player into matchmaking for 10, 15, minutes after leaving a match.  And for those who remain inactive in a match for more than half the game should be removed.

 

Also, it would be nice if they took off leading shots because I feel that it is hard to tell if you are unable to lead shots correctly or the game is just lagging.

 

Halo 2, Halo 3 > Halo Reach (Rip off version of Cod) ( Ranking system that rewards horrible players)

Flint247
Flint247

I agree on the Forge mode. I would like to see more worlds to forge and more colors. Also, they should add undo/redo buttons in case of a mistake. Reach's multiplayer maps weren't too exciting compared to Halo 3, but they weren't too bad. I personally do not care if they got rid of the armor abilities, as long as they keep sprint. I can live with that the whole time.

Saiban_tensei
Saiban_tensei

HALO 2 , BR doble shot. rumble hardcore RULZ

DeathsIntent96
DeathsIntent96

I think one of the biggest differences between Reach's and Halo 3's multiplayer is the maps. Halo 3's maps were just so much more memorable and unique.

ONYX_B184
ONYX_B184

This annoyed me a bit, they kept dissing Halo Reach. I dunno what there on about cause in my opinion Halo Reach is the best Halo by FAR :)

JOYRIDEME
JOYRIDEME

> unlock-able weapons >halo yep its gonna suck

AlphaProWolf
AlphaProWolf

What Taylor is saying is true about Halo Reach but to get rid of all the Armor Abilities that's just not cool, because I have had some great moments playing with evade and jetpack!:)

tonyhawksP8
tonyhawksP8

Their comments on Halo: Reach are all so true, I have faith this will be one of the better Halos

JJB03
JJB03

i felt that halo 3's maps were more memorable than halo reach's maps but maybe this because i went off to uni so i spent less time on halo reaches mp then i did halo 3's

garcia_jx
garcia_jx

Oh videogames.... how thou cureth thi broken heart.

WarHead2011
WarHead2011

DAMM!! You already know Im gonna be waiting for you chief right here in the palm of my hands!

Ahsan_ga
Ahsan_ga

Wow, what an awesome worK!

silentscorn
silentscorn

i never like the old battle rifle, you went though ammo like it was candy, and the quick three round burst with perfect accuracy was cheap in my opinion. i prefer the awesome dmr with no bloom, a great single shot precision weapon with just the right amount of power that doesn't shoot too slowly or too fast. i hope they have both weapons in the game instead of just one or the other.

Kevlar101
Kevlar101

I don't get why people are hating on Reaches MP, it was my favorite multiplayer of any Halo game, and my favorite MP of any game for that matter. It was just so damn fun! And it still is. The armor Abilities were really fun too, I just don't get why people hate it.

moonkill3
moonkill3

This guys a pro and he's complaining about armor abilities?They were the funnest part of MP for me.Knowing when to use them and which ones to pick for each map.Using armor lock to destroy a ghost whoo hooo!

oKiRe
oKiRe

Best Halo Reach map Zealot? This guy doesn't know what he is talking about. And why remove sprint and evade?

k2theswiss
k2theswiss

i quit halo reach because of lame armor ability's. They got on my nerves. When they released a gametype without ability's. I came back for a bit and enjoyed it.

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

@ Darnasian, I kind of agree. Seeing him without his helmet would be kind of disappointing. But I've spent days playing Halo games... Don't I deserve to at least know what my chracter looks like?

GreySeven
GreySeven

@JimmyFrost Kermit the Frog would be good. "We're gonna kill the Covenant, yaaaaaaaaaaaay!"

jamo-guilmo
jamo-guilmo

hey halo 4 thanks for crapping on my childhood by existing.

DeilGyre
DeilGyre

Halo needs professional maps, gameplay influenced by pro FPS players. Check out what Valve is currently doing with Counterstrike:Global Offensive - flying in pros to help make their competitive shooter perfect. Halo also needs dedicated servers and less aim assist strength. A real unlocking system, like CoD has, is very addicting. Halo Reach's was not, just a bunch of cosmetic armor differences. And speaking of maps...Halo4 should ship with at least a dozen maps, if not more. CoD launches with about 18 maps, and CS:GO will launch with 16 maps. Halo has typically launched with about 9-11 maps. Forget looking to Forge for quality competitive maps - that's a good tool for custom fun games, but not highly competitive. 343 would have to give the modding community the tools to make real maps for H4. That would be great to see a steady stream of maps for Halo4 (Like a new REAL map every week, for the first 3 months.)

burnteyeball
burnteyeball

I want to see more destructible environments! Tired of shooting rokets at wooden walls, computers, and windows just to see a puff of smoke. Its almost like playing with nerf guns for the army or something :/ body dismemberment wouldnt hurt either Disney.. i mean Halo. You know for so musch money pumped in from consumers why doesnt this game have some touches like BF3 or any other heavy phisics driven game?? It has never made sense to me..

captainwonton
captainwonton

Hundreds of thousands? I chose the wrong career

BKILL96
BKILL96

Halo 4: Combat Evolved ... Evolved

YoungSinatra25
YoungSinatra25

I want to see more before I make up my mind. But if sprint isn't a dedicated mechanic I'll pass. This series needs to take some gameplay mechanics from Crysis 2. Climbing vaulting etc...

Ovirew
Ovirew

@scarletsnake Yeah, I'm really hoping 343 ups the ante with this new series. I've liked all of the Halo games so far, but I'd like to see some massive changes and improvements to the series.

Ovirew
Ovirew

@wavelength121 very true.

Ovirew
Ovirew

@Zerot well, I'm a 24 year old man and I think controllers are better than keyboard and mouse. It's a preference thing. I think I have better control with a game controller than a keyboard and mouse. I agree that paying Microsoft for LIVE is a bunch of bs though, and I hope they do away with that next gen. I don't know what auto-aim even is though.

Ovirew
Ovirew

I'm not sure I fully agree with Tsquared on any of these points. I do think that Forge should have better tools, but whether I'm playing on the snow or the sand isn't as big of an issue to me as not being able to completely wipe everything on a map without having to painstakingly delete everything piece by piece.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

Real competitive gamer play with keyboards not controllers LMAO.

Darnasian
Darnasian

@thereal-15-cent NOOOOOOOOO! Keep the Helmet on! This is what makes the Chief the ultimate warrior! That helmet looks badass... And by keeping it on it looks more misterious!

Darnasian
Darnasian

@Printul_Noptii I totally agree with you... I mean the PC version of CE was way better then the xbox version because it also ahd a few extras... And a cross platform multiplayer might be a nice twist although you gotta admit PC gamers have the advantage when aiming... So it would be a little bit unbalanced...

Zerot
Zerot

You know the competitive gaming community is highly flawed and geared towards 12 year old spraylo fanboys when. 1. They prefer a controller over a keyboard. 2. They think auto aim exists in pro games. 3. They claim paying microsoft for playing games online for non dedicated servers is an actual benefit FACE PALM! ------------ -_-

howtheflip
howtheflip

 @Sergeant-muzien He's gotten $250k sponsors from Dr Pepper? He's made more money than you have in your life playing a video game. And you talk as if someone who plays MLG can't go into regular setting gametypes and do the same things to you in that playlist. All MLG players want are settings that allow them to fully customize the gametypes to their liking so that MLG can be exactly what they want. Just because they want this, however, it doesn't mean they won't have fun shitting on you in a regular playlist too.

Omni_Paradox
Omni_Paradox

 @geomartin84 

One thing YOU should do, in my opinion, is realize you had Caps Lock on before you post a comment.

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @Carswell38 They definitely shouldn't just recycle Halo 2 -- I loved the game, and it was great for competitive play, but the game does need to evolve in some sense. I also played Halo as a contrast from CoD, but having sprint was more of an issue because it led to imbalanced play more than just because it was similar to CoD's dynamics. Sprint works perfectly in their series, but for Halo it requires some tweaking if they hope to integrate it into the franchise. The game has always been primarily focused on positioning and aiming rather than charging and meleeing, and the current sprint system encourages the latter. I agree with you on that one.

 

Leading shots is completely necessary, and it is another one of the things that makes the skill gap in Halo more defined. It is one of the components of real-world physics that is absolutely required for a shooting game.

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @ONYX_B184 To each their own. Halo: Reach definitely looks the best and has some great features. But some people care more about maintaining the competitive and skill-based side of the game than other features. As an example, not having a skill-based ranking system really did hurt their popularity with fans transitioning from Halo 3 and ODST. In addition, the multiplayer maps were just recycled from scenes in the Campaign, and were not directly designed as MP maps. This article is more criticizing the multiplayer side of the game, don't misinterpret it -- the campaign was entertaining for a lot of people. I do like Reach myself, it's definitely a good game.

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @AlphaProWolf Agree with you. The jetpack and evade are great (evade may be a little fast, but still). Some of them weren't as balance-maintaining though -- Armor Lock being the prime example.

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @Kevlar101 It is definitely a good multiplayer, and I enjoy playing it myself. Some reasons why people don't like it as much as past MPs are that ranking is no longer skill-based and that some armor abilities imbalance the game and emphasize the wrong components of Halo's gameplay (e.g. charging and meleeing rather than positioning and shooting).

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @oKiRe It is a really great map, provided that space is blocked. Whether it's the best map is up to taste, but of the out-of-the-box maps, it is certainly one of the more well-designed ones. As for sprint and evade being removed -- he believes that they were a little too powerful, and led to unbalanced play. I personally like evade (yet it might be a little too fast), but sprint made battles much more close-quarters, where aiming and positioning are less important than melee-mashing. Have you ever been shooting a target, to only have him mindlessly sprint towards you and get a melee off, equalizing the battle even though you may be able to shoot better than him? It places more emphasis on chasing and charging than positioning and shooting.

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @DeilGyre Agree with this. As long as the unlocking system can still maintain balanced matchmaking play (which it does not do in CoD), I'm all for it. It's definitely addicting. Perhaps having several playlists with the ability to use your unlocked weapons would be great, while still having several other ones dedicated towards balanced, competitive, ranked play.

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @Ovirew I agree with you -- that it is definitely necessary at this point to have a 'Clear Map' option in Forge. But what Tsquared was referring to was that by having variations in overall map color schemes and style, people would be more encouraged to express their creativity with Forge. And while it may not seem to matter whether you're playing on the snow or on the sand, think about it -- for example, if Zealot were gray instead of purple, it may play very close to the same, but it would feel very different in a way.

KaleidoJM
KaleidoJM

 @Zerot Agree with you wholeheartedly on 3. But for 1, I think this is just a matter of taste. I prefer controllers in competitive gaming over keyboards, and I both have experience in PC gaming and am by no means a 12 year old. As for 2 -- auto-aim is included at the professional level because it is not removable from the core of the game itself. It would certainly increase the skill gap, however. But it wouldn't make much sense for the developers to add the option of disabling auto-aim, as the game becomes very difficult for beginners to pick up.

geomartin84
geomartin84

 @Omni_Paradox maybe you could contribute to the thread and not worry about people's typing methods. 

Carswell38
Carswell38

 @KaleidoJM Overall i liked halo 2 and halo 3 a lot better than reach.  I was so excited for another Halo, but bungie disapointed me so i quit and played cod. I really hope 343 does a good job and does not do the same.  So far after watching a lot of trailers Halo 4 looks like it will be good.  Although i am used to the traditional spartan from halo 3.  The halo reach spartan and halo 4 spartan is bulkier.  If they are going to have sprint in the game then their maps need to be bigger.  Which is why i dont like sprint because i prefer arena style, mlg maps.  Leading shots is not all that bad especially playing LAN. However,  Sometimes it is hard to recognize if you are leading too much or too little because of connection issues when you are playing online.  Which can be very irritating.  You correct though it makes the game harder to play and requires more skill.  It is a component of real world physics, but masterchief and the Halo world break many  laws of physics, so whats one more...

Besides Halo is meant to be unrealistic.

 

Omni_Paradox
Omni_Paradox

 @geomartin84

Just trying to help. :P

No one can take you seriously if you leave Caps Lock on. 

Hey, if you repost your comment with normal capitalization, I'll be happy to contribute.