Saturday, 9 June 2012

Halo 4 - Armour Abilities, Tactical Packages and Support Upgrades

Halo Reach introduced Armour Abilities to the Halo sandbox, I think it's fair to say that they weren't universally popular. 343industries seem to be of the opinion that Armour Abilities as a concept weren't flawed, just their implementation in Reach.

Halo 4 brings Armour Abilities back and also adds Tactical Packages and Support Upgrades, the idea being that by creating a personalised loadout you tailor the game to your own strengths and playstyle. Halo purists will inevitably feel that they dilute the purity of Halo combat. Whilst this is true, as players we have to accept the need for the game to move on in the face of stiff competition.

If you play Halo in any sort of team you already have specialisations, you'll have a sniper, a driver, a shotgun guy, a guy who's a sticky pro, even the most casual teams have these sort of "specialisations" the new tactical and support upgrades are intended to be an extension of this concept.

Let's take a look at what we know so far about Armour Abilities, Tactical Packages and Support Upgrades.

Armour Abilities


Promethean Vision

The ability to see through walls. It doesn't last long, but for a few seconds you essentially have x-ray vision. When asked if there will be a counter to this various members of the 343i team have said "that's not something we can talk about at this time", which would suggests there will indeed be a counter revealed closer to launch - Possibly Active Camo?





Hardlight Shield

Presumably intended to be a replacement for Reach's Armour Lock, this works much like a riot shield seen in various other FPSs. Player movement and turning is slowed and they are unable to shoot whilst using it. There have been suggestions that it only blocks ballistic attacks with explosions still causing damage through the shield.



Auto-Sentry

We've not seen much of this, but expect it to function in a similar manner to the auto-turrets in Halo 3, more of a nuisance/distraction than a genuine threat to other players. We don't know how long they stay active for or if they run out of ammo, however we do know they are destroyed when the player who dropped them dies.

Jetpack

This was seen used in Spartan Ops during E3 and has been talked about in some of the closed beta leaks. We don't know much about it so can only assume it's similar to the Reach incarnation.



Thruster Pack

Two boosters on the Spartan's back thrust the player in a horizontal direction of their choosing. This seems to be a replacement for Evade, it can only be used once per charge which is down from 2 uses Evade had in Reach. I suspect they felt that Evade made little sense as an Armour Ability canonically - why wouldn't any Spartan be able evade as many times as they like?


Active Camo

Not shown officially, but was seen on leaked menu screens from the beta.

Hologram

People who've played the E3 demo say this is identical to the Reach version - Holograms show up as normal players when seen using Promethean Vision.

Regeneration Field

Not shown, but discussed by players who've played the closed beta. Likely to be similar to the shield regenerator in Halo 3.


Tactical Packages


Firepower Package

Allows the player to choose two primary weapons in their starting loadout, so you could start with both a DMR and BR as opposed to BR and Pistol.

Shield Package

Shields will recharge faster.




AA Efficiency

Faster recharge on Armour Abilities - Not shown publicly, leaked from the beta.

Grenadier

Carry an extra grenade at spawn.

Shielding

Possibly the same as "Shield Package", but the leaked beta screens and Waypoint use different terminology so I'm listing this separately.




Support Upgrades


Awareness

Allows the player to see their radar whilst using a scoped weapon. It also offers "heightened locational intel of all nearby enemies", although it's not clear what exactly that entails.

Sensor Upgrade 

Increases the range and sensitivity of the radar.

Ammo Upgrade

Allows the player to spawn with more ammo.

Resupply

Allows you to pick up grenades from dead players - which also means that without this upgrade you will not be able to pick up grenades dropped by other players. 

Mobility

Infinite sprint. People who've played the game at E3 say that this isn't as big a boost as it sounds, you get quite a lot of sprint by default. 



Power Ups

On top of all this, players can call for power ups in Ordnance drops, in the E3 demo we saw:

Overshield

In this video we see that it gives the user TEN SECONDS of invincibility:


This is probably the most worrying thing I've seen in Halo 4. Just imagine what you could do to an opposing team in ten seconds with a shotgun.. I guess it will make Exterminations more common, that's a good thing.. right?

Speed Boost

Like it says on the tin, increases the bearers base movement speed, reload speed and weapon change speed.

Increased Damage

Differing reports on how much the damage is increased by, but it doesn't seem as though it's a game breaking amount.


There's a heck of a lot there, and it's possible that I've missed something or that things will change between now and launch. It's a huge task to balance all of this, especially without a public beta. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of this was tweaked shortly after release with playlist/title updates. Regardless if there's any of this you're particularly concerned about, now is the time to canvass 343i, there's still time for anything here to be tweaked or dropped before launch.

- Cowboy Out.

62 comments:

  1. Speed boost increases Reload speed, Movement speed, and shield regen speed too, I think.

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    1. Bregmann_Roche9 June 2012 21:21

      I think it's reload speed, movement speed, and weapon switch speed. In one of the MLG commentary videos with Kevin Franklin he states this.

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  2. Hmmm... That DOES seem worrying (the overshield) buuut because this is an ordnance drop, you'd probably have to get quite a few kills to call for it, so I suppose it's not like armour lock where you spawned with it, it reminds me more of traditional armour lock, where it was rare and couldn't be continuously used.

    Plus, at first, I was annoyed by the whole some players have advantages over others, e.g. "faster move speed" but I dno, I kinda LIKE the idea. Because it feels more REAL. Some Spartans are bound to be faster than others (ie Kelly) and others having upgraded their armour. I like the variation and uniqueness it brings...

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  3. By "traditional armour lock" I meant "traditional overshield"

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  4. this really more of personal spartan thing.you can have a speed guy(kelly),the strong guy(sam), and the all rounded guy(john).to me it really brings the unique traits of spartans since there not all alike.from everything i still prefer halo 3 from all halos but could change with the launch of this halo.

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    1. When they first showed the teaser image of Reach with the sillhouettes of Noble team I thought we'd be playing as blue team and we'd be choosing a Spartan/specialisation. Was a bit of a disappointment when they revealed Noble team tbh.

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    2. I know how you feel, they could have done so much better with Reach... But hopefully Halo 4 will do so much better, and by the looks of it, I really believe it will.

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  5. I think the over shield is more like a fusion of overshield and invinciblilty in Halo 3 seeing how it's 10 seconds just like in halo 3. It's not like armor lock

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  6. Resupply sounds troublesome too. Is this a once per life ability? Can someone just camp with Rockets and keep giving themselves more?

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  7. I can't remember where I found this out but in Halo 4 the resupply ability allows you to pick up grenades from corpses which you cant do without the ability now.

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  8. Resupply lets you pick up grenades off of dead people since you can't do that anymore without it.

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  9. Reach of Duty, I mean, Halo 4 MP looks terrible so far. I'm expecting the game to have like 20 playlist at launch, one of which will be TS Classic. That's right, fans of good classic Halo will be treated like lepers, forced into a hidden ghetto playlist :( Well, there's always Campaign and Co-op, I guess...

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    1. What kind of game would you design, uh!!. Comments like these infuriate me, why because first of all this is FPS. And Second don't you think they took the time to brainstorm ideas, good grief, why don't you come up with a better game. Game looks great, like you i was their from the beginning of Halo and and the other FPS's

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  10. Thanks fellas, I've added the correct info for Resupply.

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  11. honestly, you should be able to pick up the grenades as usual and you should only have 1 armor mod - not 2, but these new things are very promising

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  12. Not being able to pick up grenades without a perk is seriously uncool. Why not have "Resupply" up one's max grenade allowance from, say, 3 to 4 instead?

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    Replies
    1. pretty sure you can pick up nades without it. just not off dead bodies

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  13. I cannot believe that is what resupply does. That would be totally game breaking. It would be disgusting if we couldn't pick up grenades with some special ability. It would mean no one would ever freaking have any, and it does not make any logical sense for a Spartan to be unable to pick up a dropped grenade.

    And this is the first thing I've read that would genuinely be gamebreaking. This can't be true, 343 has gone off their rocker if they think that is a good idea.

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    1. it does kind of make sense in that we won't get people grenade spamming - plus you can pick up grenades from ordnance drops

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    2. Reach had it wrong. You don't just "drop nades" when you die. They would still be clipped on and you'd have to shuffle the body to find/retrieve them.

      I'd be all for this so that there are less 'nade spammers. I presume you can still pick them up from nade spawns or ordnance.

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  14. I hope I'm not the only one who just assumed the ten seconds of invincibility thing on the OS was a glitch, or will be toned down.

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  15. Also, to the guy above my first post: you can pick up map spawned grenades, chill out. Just not enemy dropped, in an effort to avoid spamming grenades down every hallway.

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  16. WHY? This is totally unbalancing!

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. Speed boost doesn't speed your shield recharge rate, replace this with weapon swap speed in the OP.

    -Skisma

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  19. halo mp in its core seems gone. how can some of you be content with that? perks, aa’s and other kiddy stuff should not belong in a halo title. it just makes no sense, it’s frustrating to see that the things that set halo apart and made it great are being changed to something that is in every shooter around. it’s such a waste. 343i should have started a new franchise instead.

    turtle boy 77

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    1. I know where you're coming from and to be honest I was opposed to loadouts and AAs in Reach for the same reason. I loved the purity of the matches in Halo 3, everyone spawns equal and skill and knowledge would be the differentiator. I used to deride CoD for it's use of loadouts and perks feeling they had no place in a competitive FPS.

      The common consensus seems to be that unlocks and customisation are the way forward, this is what most people want and expect from their shooters and Halo has to give people what they want.

      There will be playlists on day one without loadouts, perks and tac packs - This has been confirmed. I suppose there'll be no need for you to venture out of these playlists.

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  20. Pretty sure you can pick up grenades from supply cases like the one in firefight on that snowy map in Halo Reach. I personally like this idea because there won't be anymore grenade spammers. If you want more grenades you will have to die and respawn, pick it up from the supply case or use the re-supply ability.

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  21. middle finger on invincibility and not picking up grenades. seriously you guys? learn to make a real game 343.

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    1. why don't you make a better game then? Oh wait you have no knowledge on how so shut up.

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    2. one middle finger at 343, and one at you for that retarded typical veiwpoint. And also, grenade spammers? wtf are you talking about. preventing grenade spammers? grenades are a goddamn staple and they are in no way "spammed" as you retardedly put it. I dont fucking believe in "spamming". How bout you go tell the US government that they spam predator strikes and need to be restricted to using foot soldiers. Get my point? They are used effectively to achieve kills, and that's it. And also have you not thought of the fact that you actually have to walk over and physically scavenge them off a dead body in the middle of combat. Sometimes that's not fucking easy?

      This is what scares me about 343, they are essentially halo fans who got hold of the series. So they are players, and they are going to make changes based off of what THEY like and remove things THEY hate when they play halo. Now that scares the fuck out of me, because we all know some of us "purists" and some of us "halo black ops" aka reach playing gamers have very different ideas of what pisses us off and what we like. just read this blog. i wouldn't let at least half you fuckers be in charge of halo

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    3. I too am not happy with the resupply perk however I was fine with Reach. The game is still about skill, you still do the best when you know where and when to get map spawned weapons and how to use them. The game was obviously going to change when 343 got a hold of it and I'm willing to learn their system and enjoy it. At least you still can't sit in a corner with your starting gun and camp kills all game.

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  22. Please don't put things like specializations and aa's in ranked, be smart.

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  23. Inheritor Leon17 July 2012 22:16

    so far so new.

    Gotta tread lightly 343,
    There are Haters in the tall grass,

    It's unsafe to post alone,
    Take Frankie with you.

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  24. Garbage. Absolute fucking garbage.

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  25. shitty i want simple halo2 style with ranks

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  26. guys stop being so hateful give 343 a chance and give the game a try, if u dont like it then dont play it

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  27. Ok, first of all I like the idea that there will be no grenade spamming and that the only way to get the grenades is by either ordnance, respawn or resupply.
    This will mean that grenades won't be the Primary Weapon, again... 'cough' Reach, (clears throat).
    Anyway, I personally like that 343 are taking a different direction with Halo 4, e.g. New custom load outs, specialisations, etc. I'm seriously loving this, it's so different, yet it still feels like halo. It's just great that they're bringing something new to the gaming community. And, I understand that some fans are thinking that they are changing too much, but pretty much every player of halo 4 so far is loving it and still agrees that it is still halo. I mean look at RTX, people actually cued up in a 2hour line just to get put into another 30 long line, just to play Halo 4 for just 10 minutes. But wait, it gets better. After playing those 10 minutes, people then cued up again, yes again... In the 2 hour line(XD). But, seriously, why would 343 just release the same game as previous games (e.g. 'what CoD did'...)


    Well, anyway this is my first post (ever) so please...
    Be gentle ;)
    GT: DaT Ghost

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  28. Halo is almost ruined I guess maybe the whole "enemy grenade thing" is ok but invinciblity? to tell the truth I can't make a game but if I could i would take out the extra junk that makes halo just another shooter game, ranking is awesome I love progressing through the ranks one battle at a time. But some things are pretty epic like promethean/forerunner vision seems exellent for ambush, thruster boost looks petty cool, but im also pretty sure that most people will just take firepower and AA though (I know I would!), so a recap most of the new additions will be horrible to me but some things are good, but im sure my mood will change when the demo/game comes out, halo always finds a way... like spartan ops!

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  29. I am looking forward to everything

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  30. It's not invincibility, relax. It works just like the Overshield form previous Halo games.

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  31. This game sounds like pure shit.

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  32. for f**k sake go back to playing halo 2 if ur dont like what 343 is doing, i have come to terms with the fact the the gaming industry is evolving and wont be the same as it once was, if you have a problem with that the go back to playing the old games! if this was the same as all the other halo games it would not be worth my 60 bucks! if everyone would stop complaning about such little changes! this is a new, and most importantly, a different halo game, its going to be DIFFERENT!!

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    1. no ne can play the old games because they are all shuit down u dumb ass other wise everyone would still b playing halo 2 go get a life this game sucks they need to make it like they did just with better graffics and new maps and new armor thats it not this gay sheild shit who the fuck makes themselves invincable for 10 seconds that retarted

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    2. My IQ just went down for reading your post

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  33. how does it make senses that a spartan cant pick up a grenade that a dead person dropped, off of the floor

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  34. How does it make sense that SPARTANS can now sprint, and run really fast, but we cant lean down and pick up a grenade off the ground.....?

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  35. Because of the fact that aren't going to just be on the floor dumb ass. They will be clipped to the spartan or still in pockets. If you sit and search for it you get whacked.

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    1. name one soldier who keeps his grenade in his pocket lol. "Yo bro I'll hold your grenades for you today! I brought my cargos." lol

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  36. If you want the same game every year go play cod or madden football

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  37. I read the reach books and the halo armor acts as if it's another part of your body with how it is connected to your nerves and brain, I find very reasonable that grenades would be placed inside the leggings and with the very thought of using a grenade that the grenade would slide and pop out of the legging right into the spartans hand with such perfect ease and speed. Having this system I mentioned makes since as spartans that are able to take gun shots won't have their grenades shot for being exposed and the spartans would not have enemies take his grenades if he where to ever fall.

    So when I see the new mod where you are able to open up that legging on the spartan to get his grenades, I find that extremely useful and more realistic then the spartan just dropping all of his grenades everywhere.

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  38. You 343 have offical messed up this game u made it just like cod n it sucks there shouldent b any armor abilties at all its dumb and pointless halo was never like this ever until reach and they really messed that up. Im sorry but I wont b buying halo 4 bc it sucks it looks like shit look at halo 3 or halo 2 how many people complaied about the game? none bc the maps were good and the ranking system was good everything about this game is gay gay gay gay GAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY halo will never b the same bc of dumb shits like u guys take away armor abilites every should spawn with the same weaponds and the same abilites so everyone is equal i shouldent get a kid down to one shot just to have him throw down a sheild thats so dumb u runnied this game and so many people agree with us try listening to real fan feed back not just the COD fans that suck at halo and want it to b made easier if u suck then u suck dont play the game tough shit thats life u losers fix the game bc its horrible its COD 5

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    1. dude,you fuckin' suck everything you said did not make any sense I curse the day you were born.besides if Y0U dont dont like the game then why do you post on a site interely based on that game.And besides HALO 4 FUCKING ROCKS!!!!!!

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  39. the halo community is mainly split up in two some welcome change and others don't which is sad because there will be playlists for all of you and the mlg playlist will not have AA's and all that stuff that you guys complain about so you can play that all day and all night


    P.S. halo is for everyone and if your better dozen't mean you can stomp everybody else out and make 343 work just for your ego self

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  40. this game is so great im getting it tomorow!:]

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  41. Finally, a blog that spells armour correctly!

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    1. :) Yet I still spell it differently to how it appears in the game. :(

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  42. Jus bought the game at midnight launch.I have all halo's since day one so i know the franchise well. I love it, thats why u get an xbox. Sure reach wasnt perfect but it was still fun 2 play. This seems gd but not as gd 4 as some might think. maybe i need 2 get used to it but i do agree that it feels like cod a but. lots of perks, everyones got long range rifles and everyone dies quick. The grenade story dont even start. Thets cod 101, its even called scavanger. so dumb if u ask me.

    N jet pack fuel is at a bare minimum, so im pissed of about that. Dnt worry tho u have sprint with ur other ability. buy 1 get 1 free. this offer also comes with ur 2 normal abilities. cod or mw3? u choose either way i think its 2 much.

    But after all that 4 some reason u still wonna play it. Y is that? Coz im a fan and as much as it pains me i will always love playin halo campaign multiplayer and split screenin 4player with ur buddies.

    Sure this halo isnt perfect and it has flaws and glithes but with some guys like me it really doesnt matter anymore because I HAVE FUN............most of the time.

    i think overall its not a 10/10 n not a 9/10 but maybe a 8 or 8.5/10. Either way with so many ripoff games coming out these past years if u have any love left 4 halo i would buy it coz believa it or not ppl ar eprobably gonna still b playin dis 2 yrs later.

    ps i used 2 hate armour lock untill i learned how to use it n started raping everyone. especially pro who think they r invinceble. so many rage msgs. so funny. noobs. neaway im pissed of 343 removed it n put in dat shield i should find that guy n spit in his face. but i wont i will move n dream about those glorious moments.

    HALO STILL GD....its like halo on the outside n cod/mw3'esc on the inside. oh well ill take it.

    happy assasinating noobs.

    343 were a lil bit lazy with the perks n powerups but some are really unique to halo fortunately 4 us. dnt hate go play something else if u dnt like.

    peace out everyone hope u enjoyed my random view.

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