Earlier this year, H2O Camper put together a list of what gameplay improvements we would like to see in Halo 4 to make Grifball even better. This time, I would like to review what gametype mechanics would help the most when we are creating the next generation of Grifball. Here are four suggestions in order of importance:
Smaller Setting Increments: Grifball is unlike any other gametype in Halo. We try to balance two weapons against each other and against a bomb-wielder with an over-shield. With hundreds of kills a game, it’s very important that damage and weapon settings are exactly right.
When creating Grifball in Reach, one frustration the community often voiced was the huge jumps in the possible settings. A player’s damage resistance can be 50%, 90%, 100%, 110%, or 150%; there is no option for anything in between, which prevents serious fine-tuning. The bomb carrier’s speed can be 100%, 110%, 120%, or 150%, while the best speed for the gametype might be 130% or 140%. Player gravity, which can be useful for tweaking launches, can be 50%, 75%, or 100%; The large gaps prevent us from getting the setting just right.
We would love to see these settings changed so we can fine-tune the gametype and make it perfect. Even if a slider with 1% increments isn’t possible, it would be nice to see increments of 5% or 10%. That could make all the difference.
Armor Ability Flexibility: When dreaming about Grifball in Reach, we thought about gametypes that could help define the two main “positions” on the Grifball court – the Runner and Tank. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had one Armor Ability for tanks, such as Evade, and one that activates when you pick up the bomb, such as Sprint?
Unfortunately, we soon found out that we could not force-change Armor Abilities when the bomb is picked up — the only option is to enable or disable them. Furthermore, we could not allocate a specific set of Armor Abilities to the players on a team – if Evade was an option for one person, it must be an option for everyone.
In Halo 4, more great Grifball gametypes could be improved with additional flexibility for the Armor Ability options. Wouldn’t it be great if we could enable Sprint only when a person is holding the bomb? Or have the runner be able to use the Thruster Pack while moving in for a score? Those kind of options would allow even more great gametypes to flourish.
No more “hidden” options: Halo: Reach gametypes contain a number of gametype options that are not available to the average user but were/are available to the staff at Bungie/343 Industries. For example, the gametype name that appears on-screen when a match is begun can be edited, but only by employees. There is also a hidden switch to end a game early when one team has scored a majority of points; this is why matchmaking Grifball games end when a team scores three points, but league Grifball games must have every round be played, regardless of the score.
I hope in Halo 4 these options are no longer hidden. It would be nice if the players were given maximum flexibility to create the gametypes they want for their own uses — whether we are creating gametypes to goof around with our friends, for Halo leagues and tournaments, or for the matchmaking playlist.
Ordnance Setting Flexibility: The Ordnance settings for Infinity Slayer look (and play) wonderfully. When learning about Halo 4, it’s only natural that our thoughts turn to Grifball and how these new tools can be applied to our sport.
I hope that gametypes have the maximum flexibility when it comes to Ordnance drops. It would be nice to have them available in Assault, where we could have options such as which weapons and power-ups are available and what the criteria is for earning one. Grifball might not lend itself to earning Ordnance drops for killing sprees, as that would only encourage stat-padding and griefing. However, what if a team earned an Ordnance drop after being scored upon? It could be an interesting way to keep a match of “Infinity Grifball” fun and competitive.
Halo 4 drops on November 6, and we are looking forward to creating the next generation of Grifball as soon as possible. These suggestions are just a few tools that could make the Halo 4 Grifball experience even better. If you have additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!