343 Industries has provided a new update on Halo 5 Guardians and the focus this time around, is a complete overhaul of one of the most popular modes ; Big Team Battle.
Detailed via Halo Waypoint, 343 has been working on this one for a while and included the community in the changes including feedback and some of the best BTB maps created in Forge. Their goals for the update were as follows:
- Update the game modes to improve the gameplay experience for all skill levels.
- Improve the framerate performance on all maps
- Establish consistent settings for weapons and vehicles across all maps
- Increase the likelihood of Objective modes ending on score rather than on time
- Maintain Big Team Battle’s identity
- Find a good balance in the delicate dance of infantry and vehicle combat
One of the largest points of contention among players, is the starting weapons for BTB. 343 details how they came to the decision to stick with BR/AR starts for all players:
We know that there has been lots of discussion surrounding the starting weapons in Big Team Battle, and after doing multiple playtests with a variety of starting weapons, Randy 355 has written up a short section of his own to talk about it further.
Several months ago, we created a feedback thread for Big Team Battle. One of the questions we asked was about the player’s starting weapons, keep in mind that we would not be able to tuning how any of the weapons behave. There were a few particular starting weapon suggestions that stood out the most. It was mostly between Magnum Starts, Stabilization BR Starts, or the standard BR Starts. We did some testing with all of these variants to see which starting weapon would best fit our overall goals.
We started our tests with the Stabilization BR. The Stabilization BR does feel great for mid-range infantry encounters. That said, over several tests we found that the weapon’s accuracy over such long distances had a detrimental effect to map flow. It made it difficult to traverse across open maps, especially for less-skilled players. There was less encouragement to move about the map in search of better weapons off of spawn. Vehicle play and specifically Warthog gunners also suffered at the pinpoint accuracy of the players spawning with Stabilization BR. There was fun to be had with this starting weapon, however, it did not fit our goals for the refresh.
We played Magnum starts for a long time. While Magnum starts did feel really good, we noticed a lot of players didn’t feel the need to pick up any other loadout weapons. BR and AR variants weren’t finding much use, and it is still quite easy to shoot out a Warthog gunner with Magnum starts. Magnum starts is also a trait seen in our Arena offerings and we feel it’s a plus for BTB to retain its own style of play with BR/AR starts.
After all of our testing, we eventually chose to stick with the BR/AR loadout we’ve always had. We know there are some players that will not be happy with this decision, but we took each request very seriously and gave them all a fair chance. Now every map in the playlist has a variety of precision weapons to use and will feature 5 or more Magnums. Sometimes you’ll even find a Tactical Magnum to use! The BR still allows a player to defend themselves off of spawn, but they can now find a Magnum variant if they prefer that crisp, precise kind of action. We feel it’s a great compromise and it feels good to tear it up with the Magnum when you find one.
Lastly, there have been many changes to maps and modes which are far too long to detail here yet again so please visit the official Halo Waypoint post! Though we will say, we love the look of Dispelled by Timedipper!
The on-going support for Halo 5 from 343 has been tremendous and it bodes well for the future of Halo multiplayer with Infinite on the horizon. With BTB being one of our favorite modes, we’ll be jumping back in soon!