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Halo Infinite Season 2: Lone Wolves

Crosspost from HaloGAF -

Played a dozen or so games with 2 buddies last night and 1 game of LSS.

King of the Hill is an interesting change, seems designed around blowout type game to sustain players not quitting matches and staging comebacks. I'm not huge fan of any modes where you stand in a box and fight but this feels like a good change.

I want a full blown Apex Legends but Halo based and with vehicles and full sandbox from all games or Halo 5 weapon variants. It would be so good if done right. I played only one solo game of LSS and I'm really not a fan of this mode as FFA, I've never liked FFA. I have no idea why 343 doesn't have a second playlist or just went with fireteams of 3 or 4. Literally a new mode on new maps and you cannot play with your friends, it makes zero sense in that respect. So many issues I saw in that one game e.g. camping, third/fourth/fifth partying a fight, overshield saturation etc could be mitigated by squads fighting it out. You can have your back covered, comms, team shoot an OS enemy etc. Oh and actually play with your friends. I really won't play FFA LSS. I wait with baited breath in my helmet to see what Max and CA are cooking up though, perhaps a squad based version of LSS I'd jump back in for too.

The breaker map feels like classic BTB coming back. A far better designed map in terms of vehicles vs on foot and getting around with speed while having sightlines to actually dish out damage etc. Actually really like this one and with updates to symmetrical weapon spawns etc it should really shine. The changes to vehicles and being able to get up to speed and get around a map without catching every little edge etc is very welcomed and finally executed in map design and sandbox mechanics well.

The new arena map was fun, because we got two flag, only got to play it once. It felt a lot less random than the launch maps and I/we enjoyed that, it's still feels a bit Epitaph rather than say Standoff or Zanzibar. I far prefer rolling fight maps with only 1 to 2 levels of verticality being maps like The Pit, Zanzibar, Burial Mounds, Standoff, Coag, Battle Creek etc. It could have done with a mix of indoor and outdoor stuff. The 343 split between arena and BTB continues to kill what I consider the best parts of Halo 4v4 rolling maps based play from such brilliant maps. Totally agree with the campiness of 343 designed arena maps, they also promote really McDonalds style play even without camping e.g. quick random engagements. The previous game version maps I mention have more deliberate map movements and engagements based on the terrain or choosing to head indoors vs outdoors or having a light vehicle at the right time.

We got an Aussie based game about 60-65% of the time, which is better than it has been. Unfortunately without hard and fast player/party based filters to lock and load just Australia, when we want to search that, the localised population influx isn't going to be sustained. It will drop off and Mint Blitz and I will both be shaking our fists at the 343/Azure cloud again.

The new campaign weapons in the hacked rooms in BTB need to find their way into arena modes and be opened up to play with. Halo 5 had a few too many variants perhaps in the one game but the current BTB locked rooms and giving those weapons chances to spawn in Arena on incoming displayed drops/known timers and locations would be welcomed in some modes. A good differentiator over say ranked vs social. We played with those weapons in customs and they're quite fun and fresh, it's a shame 343 didn't bring them out to play more. I'm also hoping CA's new mode has plenty to do with weapon variants and fighting for control of them.

Overall it's not something that's going to replace Apex Legends for my daily go to game still. Infinite is not polished enough, the matchmaking systems are still too controlled by 343 and the networking is still questionable even when an Aussie local game is being played. I found at least once, if not multiple times, in our matches I'd still die behind walls a good quarter and half second behind my actual gameplay. I still had some rubberbanding in games, players that appear to walk off pistol headshots and all those usual suspects we've come to expect from a buggy 343 game. They really need to work on player choice being a higher priority over 343/matchmaking systems, they need to improve quality assurance and generally their management choices around sustain. I still found myself on maps like Behemoth looking for a BR only to find Commando spawns.

For example we have new maps and in Team Slayer you have 2 out of 12 game list options for the new map to come up. We didn't get it in that playlist, who knows what the weighting percentages of those options are. We had to play two USA hosted games on maps our 3 man fireteam didn't want to jump into. If you look at it from the player/party perspective it should enable us to define Australia only on new content launch as we'd wait for those quality games with the peaks of population, we'd select the new maps and modes we want so we would likely play for another 1-2+ hours more. The UI still has shite scoreboards and post game reports that are still ordered at random. It makes no sense in slayer to show rounds on the team summary TAB, you don't even see a kill count for example in a quick datagrid of all players in game. These sorts of QoL improvements should never have been required but they're still not a priority for 343.

This sort of lack of player focus and party control permeates many systems and experience elements derived from 343's management decisions in game. It downgrades the game experience and actually shortens your own and your party's time playing the game.

*Never got to play attrition despite our party wanting to. Didn't want to play BTB as we just wouldn't get Aussie games and we cannot force it.
 

Mr Reasonable

Completely Unreasonable
I just hope they spring some extra arena maps on us. I assume that 343 has map designers, artists on staff. Why is making a few maps such a big problem?
 

Codes 208

Member
I just hope they spring some extra arena maps on us. I assume that 343 has map designers, artists on staff. Why is making a few maps such a big problem?
Internal development strains, awkwards shifts and temps coming in just to be replaced

This is likely the reason for the season extensions in general.

(Not to excuse 343 of course, i dont understand how MS’s poster child developer can be facing so many issues that havent been resolved)

Phasmophobia gets more updates than this and that game is made by a three person team with a shoestring budget.
 

ZehDon

Member
I just hope they spring some extra arena maps on us. I assume that 343 has map designers, artists on staff. Why is making a few maps such a big problem?
If the Halo community is correct - and they are often are - it's for two reasons.

Firstly, 343i are, effectively, still using Bungie's old engine and tools from Halo Reach, only now with ten more years of hacks and spaghetti code making it even more unusable. 343i had to hack the shit out of the engine just to get it to support 60FPS for Halo 5, and they've created even more elaborate hacks in Infinite to get it support variable frame rates. This means their tools are slow, prone to crash, hard to debug, hard to test, hard to change, and this makes any kind of asset creation extremely difficult to do quickly. To put that into context, when Bungie made Destiny, they themselves were initially using a re-worked version of this stuff. Something as simple as moving an object in a map slightly to the left required about a day's worth of loading and baking, and it often crashed, requiring the process to be re-started. Destiny was content light as a result. Infinite has the same problem. Had they moved over to Unreal Engine and figured out how to implement the Halo gameplay loop in that, they wouldn't have any of these issues.

The second reason, though this is more rumour than fact, is that the Infinite we got is only about 18 months worth of development, with huge amounts of work thrown out because 343i had no vision and couldn't figure out what kind of game they were making. 343i aren't sitting on a trove of un-used, polished assets. They're struggling to keep up with the demands to create new things to sell in the store for their "live service", fix the un-fixable engine code to make it all work, and figure out what the hell they're doing next with Halo given that Infinite has, essentially, failed. According to previous reports for Halo 5, a full, polished multiplayer map takes about a year's worth of work to actually make. We got two in six months because they were underway before the game launched. Had 343i actually knew what to do with Halo, if they had actual leadership that had an artistic vision and an understanding of what 'Halo' actually was, they wouldn't have wasted four and a half years.
 

Codes 208

Member
If the Halo community is correct - and they are often are - it's for two reasons.

Firstly, 343i are, effectively, still using Bungie's old engine and tools from Halo Reach, only now with ten more years of hacks and spaghetti code making it even more unusable. 343i had to hack the shit out of the engine just to get it to support 60FPS for Halo 5, and they've created even more elaborate hacks in Infinite to get it support variable frame rates. This means their tools are slow, prone to crash, hard to debug, hard to test, hard to change, and this makes any kind of asset creation extremely difficult to do quickly. To put that into context, when Bungie made Destiny, they themselves were initially using a re-worked version of this stuff. Something as simple as moving an object in a map slightly to the left required about a day's worth of loading and baking, and it often crashed, requiring the process to be re-started. Destiny was content light as a result. Infinite has the same problem. Had they moved over to Unreal Engine and figured out how to implement the Halo gameplay loop in that, they wouldn't have any of these issues.

The second reason, though this is more rumour than fact, is that the Infinite we got is only about 18 months worth of development, with huge amounts of work thrown out because 343i had no vision and couldn't figure out what kind of game they were making. 343i aren't sitting on a trove of un-used, polished assets. They're struggling to keep up with the demands to create new things to sell in the store for their "live service", fix the un-fixable engine code to make it all work, and figure out what the hell they're doing next with Halo given that Infinite has, essentially, failed. According to previous reports for Halo 5, a full, polished multiplayer map takes about a year's worth of work to actually make. We got two in six months because they were underway before the game launched. Had 343i actually knew what to do with Halo, if they had actual leadership that had an artistic vision and an understanding of what 'Halo' actually was, they wouldn't have wasted four and a half years.
It also feels a bit asinine regarding their priorities of what should be fixed.

Like i feel like desync is something they shouldve been working on for a big release like season 2, but nah they fixed the fun stuff like removing the skills jumps, pelican flying glitch, and tank gun glitch instead.
 
If the Halo community is correct - and they are often are - it's for two reasons.

Firstly, 343i are, effectively, still using Bungie's old engine and tools from Halo Reach, only now with ten more years of hacks and spaghetti code making it even more unusable. 343i had to hack the shit out of the engine just to get it to support 60FPS for Halo 5, and they've created even more elaborate hacks in Infinite to get it support variable frame rates. This means their tools are slow, prone to crash, hard to debug, hard to test, hard to change, and this makes any kind of asset creation extremely difficult to do quickly. To put that into context, when Bungie made Destiny, they themselves were initially using a re-worked version of this stuff. Something as simple as moving an object in a map slightly to the left required about a day's worth of loading and baking, and it often crashed, requiring the process to be re-started. Destiny was content light as a result. Infinite has the same problem. Had they moved over to Unreal Engine and figured out how to implement the Halo gameplay loop in that, they wouldn't have any of these issues.

The second reason, though this is more rumour than fact, is that the Infinite we got is only about 18 months worth of development, with huge amounts of work thrown out because 343i had no vision and couldn't figure out what kind of game they were making. 343i aren't sitting on a trove of un-used, polished assets. They're struggling to keep up with the demands to create new things to sell in the store for their "live service", fix the un-fixable engine code to make it all work, and figure out what the hell they're doing next with Halo given that Infinite has, essentially, failed. According to previous reports for Halo 5, a full, polished multiplayer map takes about a year's worth of work to actually make. We got two in six months because they were underway before the game launched. Had 343i actually knew what to do with Halo, if they had actual leadership that had an artistic vision and an understanding of what 'Halo' actually was, they wouldn't have wasted four and a half years.

It's crazy to me given the project, Unreal's quality and budget combined with a history of outsourcing that over 6 years 343/Xbox/MS could not have paid Unreal/Epic to tightly collaborate with making it exactly Halo within Unreal. Splitgate isn't that far off feeling like Halo, neither is Apex Legends etc. Given the leaps and bounds as well as TV show integration Unreal could have brought to the table again I firmly place poor vision and decision making at the feet of 343's management. A clean slate engine built by professionals with features and support well beyond Slipspace. 6 years was more than enough to build the Halo feel into Unreal, reskill your developers and designers, pipeline adjustments etc while gaining huge upside in so many ways.

Looking back you have to say it's mental really. I had little faith 343 were capable of a completely new engine, we've since seen it's not and nowhere near what was shown in the "in-engine teaser". A new engine, a new game, a new hardware platform, crossplay, crossgen, F2P and basically everything progressed through MCC left behind as if it was a totally separate development system/team/pipeline/output. How much did the studio really think it was capable of after MCC fiasco? Unreal would have given them the foundation to tackle the other tasks and get to work far earlier than they clearly did.


The new season has some nice updates and the maps are improving in design. The roadmap of another 6 months and networking quality doesn't really have me wanting to return to Infinite. Perhaps it will improve next year or when CA's new mode drops.
 

elliot5

Member
Idk but while I wish for more maps if they remain as high quality visually and ambient wise as Breaker and Catalyst then I can understand them taking extra time
 

ZehDon

Member
It also feels a bit asinine regarding their priorities of what should be fixed.

Like i feel like desync is something they shouldve been working on for a big release like season 2, but nah they fixed the fun stuff like removing the skills jumps, pelican flying glitch, and tank gun glitch instead.
Well said. Desync, out of control lag, and bad connectivity is why I quit. If the game actually worked, I honestly wouldn't care all that much about the lack of content - though the challenge system would still aggravate me. Halo Infinite's gunplay is absolutely rock solid - hats off to 343i there, because they absolutely nailed it. Unfortunately, the netcode is pretty close to being the worst AAA game I've ever played, so it's utterly wasted.

It's crazy to me given the project, Unreal's quality and budget combined with a history of outsourcing that over 6 years 343/Xbox/MS could not have paid Unreal/Epic to tightly collaborate with making it exactly Halo within Unreal. Splitgate isn't that far off feeling like Halo, neither is Apex Legends etc. Given the leaps and bounds as well as TV show integration Unreal could have brought to the table again I firmly place poor vision and decision making at the feet of 343's management. A clean slate engine built by professionals with features and support well beyond Slipspace. 6 years was more than enough to build the Halo feel into Unreal, reskill your developers and designers, pipeline adjustments etc while gaining huge upside in so many ways.

Looking back you have to say it's mental really. I had little faith 343 were capable of a completely new engine, we've since seen it's not and nowhere near what was shown in the "in-engine teaser". A new engine, a new game, a new hardware platform, crossplay, crossgen, F2P and basically everything progressed through MCC left behind as if it was a totally separate development system/team/pipeline/output. How much did the studio really think it was capable of after MCC fiasco? Unreal would have given them the foundation to tackle the other tasks and get to work far earlier than they clearly did.


The new season has some nice updates and the maps are improving in design. The roadmap of another 6 months and networking quality doesn't really have me wanting to return to Infinite. Perhaps it will improve next year or when CA's new mode drops.
Agreed - after Halo 5 tanked the brand and MCC killed their reputation - twice - 343i should've gone into full rebuild mode. Heck, we all assumed they had given how long they took. They clearly cannot handle this kind of project at this kind of scale and complexity. They had six years - an eternity in software development terms, and more than enough time to change tech base and modernise their pipelines. To come out of that timeframe with a failed live service, an un-maintainable engine, a forgettable campaign, and yet more egg on their face, there's really no defense. 343i's management needs to go. Microsoft, Xbox, Halo, and the players, all deserve better.
 

ZywyPL

Banned
S2 brings back hope, a lot of it. First things first - the connection is now brilliant, all I'm getting now is 25ms ping, and it's not just me but all the other players don't lag as well, finally the game plays like it always should have where you shoot someone and they actually die.

New maps are great, not too open to be completely dominated by BR/sidekick, and not too tight either to turn into nade/melee spamming fest.

The S2 theme is awesome, love the aesthetic of the new armor cores.

But - after playing LSS it really, really, REALLY hard to go back playing anything else, this mode only proves that if you just leave the core gameplay and remove all the bullshit (the things people say that make Halo, Halo), you'll be left with an absolutely fantastic experience - no vehicles, no energy swords, no gravity hammers, no rocket launchers, no nothing, just you, your gun and your skill (or the lack of). If only they removed overshield and cloak the mode would be literally perfect.

Haven't tried other new modes yet, but honestly, after LSS I'm not even interested in them knowing that all the BS is waiting there for me. And the good old Team Slayer has been ruined with the BR-only loadout whick makes the matches so damn dull, especially Bazaar where it's east side vs west side basically, just two teams standing on opposing sides trying to take out each other from the distance, the face to face, personal combat is completely gone. But that's mostly because of the S1 maps design. On the other hand, the matches with AR are still dominated by Sidekick, so something has to change here, AR needs some serious buffs, either in danage or just accuracy, something like Commando has, or just a bit of both.
 

anthony2690

Member
Fired the MP up for the first time in months. Switched to the season 2 battle pass, tried the new mode twice. Left the match when I ran out of lives both times, since it tells you that you can, and it doesn’t reward any progress to challenges. Is this a bug?

What a fucking shame this MP is.
It rewards you when the matches conclude.
 

Naked Lunch

Member
Haven't tried other new modes yet, but honestly, after LSS I'm not even interested in them knowing that all the BS is waiting there for me. And the good old Team Slayer has been ruined with the BR-only loadout whick makes the matches so damn dull, especially Bazaar where it's east side vs west side basically, just two teams standing on opposing sides trying to take out each other from the distance, the face to face, personal combat is completely gone. But that's mostly because of the S1 maps design. On the other hand, the matches with AR are still dominated by Sidekick, so something has to change here, AR needs some serious buffs, either in danage or just accuracy, something like Commando has, or just a bit of both.
An interesting perspective. The AR on Infinite is at least twice as powerful (maybe more?) as its ever been in series history. The thing shreds shields from a mile away and can kill from there to - it never used to be capable of that.

I agree having BR starts in vanilla Team Slayer is a bad move because if you want BR starts - just play Ranked. The only benefit is there are 2 maps removed from Ranked (Launch Site and the Desert Map) so having vanilla Team Slayer allows us to play those maps with all BRs.

Last Spartan Standing, while fun, has its issues at the moment. As you said - you want a more striped down Halo experience. But as it stands - you can just stockpile Overshield and Camo powerups. Use the scan button to see where the drop pods land and have a field day. I won over 10 matches yesterday alone doing this. Pretty broken.

The new maps are really cool. They did a good job there. Quick play is loaded with modes now, even Attrition and King of the Hill are in there along with all variants of Slayer, CTF, Oddball. The core gameplay is well done and very fun - Infinite is going to shine once it gets more maps.
 

chaseroni

Member
After playing a few rounds, I think I'm done with this game for now.
The netcode seems better but there just isn't enough here to keep me interested.
My backlog is calling.
Wake me up when Co-Op for the campaign drops :messenger_sleeping:
 

22•22

Doesnt need recognition
After playing a few rounds, I think I'm done with this game for now.
The netcode seems better but there just isn't enough here to keep me interested.
My backlog is calling.
Wake me up when Co-Op for the campaign drops :messenger_sleeping:

But it's campaign is boring

(Imo)

Rather play CE coop on legendary ÷)
 
But it's campaign is boring

(Imo)

Rather play CE coop on legendary ÷)

I found myself wanting to skip scenes of the banished speeches, pilot guy carrying on and Cortana-at-home even on my first play through. The story is such a waste of a campaign.

In terms of gameplay I found myself literally running through halls and engagements once it locks you into that campaign missions run for the third act. It was all so similar and fucking boring. A couple of good setups but what a waste of a cool sandbox. The same goes for the open world stuff; the vehicles were really shit against the cluttered map design so I just went on foot, well via grapple everywhere and by the end of the campaign I was grappled out. Just so fucking repetitive.

Now CE or Halo 2 I could replay over and over, those mission change ups and ways to tackle enemy setups and areas of engagement never get old. Give me Halo 5 coop or firefight networking for coop on CE/2 and we're good to go. Now give me PvE content every season and we're even better.
 
I have yet to play catalyst. Why the fuck am I not getting this map….
Because the hubris at 343 think they manage playlists better than player driven map/mode toggles. You know letting gamers actually play what they want when they want.
 
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sigrad

Member
Second victory on last Spartan standing, played 6 or 7 games now and really enjoying the game mode :)
It could do with more maps being playable on the mode though.
I still haven't seen the new arena map though :(
Pretty sure they only have it on the new map right now to show off the new map and for people to learn it. I'm sure LSS will open up to the other maps in a week or so.
 

anthony2690

Member
Where are my UK Halo fans at?
Lucazade is making sure we are levelling up fast with 120 double exp boosts. :O
 
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Game doesn't matter until they switch to BR starts over AR. No reason for the hardcore fans to play anything other then ranked which gets boring fast af since its just one playlist.
 
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