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-We need character, but unique character.
-We want to encourage more aggressive player maneuvering.
-We want better feedback.
Alright, so, we're going to take inspiration from both Halo 1's Flood and maybe a bit of the old chess theme to make this work.
These guys are going to behave a little bit like jetpack brutes from Halo 3. Basically, they're going to embody their Knight chess piece role by being able to move funny around the battlefield. But they're not going to teleport to do this, because that's obnoxious and inelegant. These guys are going to perform low, long, slow leaps.
Actually, aside from the ability to perform these floaty leaps, these guys aren't going to have much in the way of special abilities. They're not even going to spawn watchers. They still have guns, though. However, these guns will consist of multiple types of projectile weapons to encourage player movement.
These guys will have shields, and these shields will respond much like Reach shields, in that they will flare more and more visibly until they pop. The head will be slightly larger than in Halo 4, and will stand out better through less hectic use of colour.
Dogs with guns? No. Just dogs. These guys are still going to be very mobile like in Halo 4, but they're going to act like Flood infection forms from Halo 1. They will attack the player by performing a (potentially fairly long) leap with a melee at the top, such that the leap will overshoot if the player dodges it. The melee will do mild damage.
Crawlers will be more numerous than in most Halo 4 encounters, but have lower health and larger, more consistant head hitboxes that don't jiggle so much.
One potential way to balance these guys with difficulty is to speed them up slightly on higher difficulties.
Crawlers will have their movement properties balanced in such a way that careful maneuvering should permit dodging them with quite good consistancy.
These guys will have much lower health, and won't feature a very strong running-away behaviour. However, they will be very agile and will make themselves hard to hit, and may sometimes do things like maneuver themselves behind allies.
Watchers will not feature a wide variety of skills. They will be able to ressurect knights, however. They will also have a projectile weapon which will only be effective against moving targets at very close range on account of slow projectile speed, but it will do meaningful amounts of damage.
How does this come together?
Alright, so, these guys are Prometheans. They're the vanguard of a once-great force. This is how we justify their up-front, open behaviour.
Alright, chess theme time. One defining feature of these Prometheans is that they'll sometimes "set themselves up" in a tactical layout and wait for you to make your move. When they do this, they'll cast a sort of black aura around themselves (this aura will disappear when the fight is initiated); they're confident and they want you to know that they're okay with you (white) making the first move (obviously white isn't necessarily an advantage in real chess, but hey, something for the game to play with!). As they wait for you to make your move, the knights will stand stoically and mega-intimidatingly, the crawlers will do things like arch themselves and just generally seem like very angry cats or dogs, and the watchers will buzz around and cut small figures through the air. The fight initiates when you fire a weapon more or less in their direction, or when you get too close.
They won't always start fights like this, though. Sometimes when you enter an area, the Prom guys may already be aggressive. Their *may* be white flashes involved here at the beginning of fights to signify that they're already doing their thing.
How will combat itself work?
Okay, so watchers aren't especially offensive anymore, but they'll stay in the vicinity of combat and generally be "aggressive;" they'll also come at you super aggressively with their pew pew if you kill all the Knights in the area. Knights will behave a lot like, well, jetpack brutes; aggressive, but transitioning between period of air movement (during which they can still shoot) and regular old running around. Crawlers will have Halo 1 popcorn Flood AI, basically.
The end result of this is that you'll be able to move around a lot. The design of the crawlers and the use of projectile weapons decreases the emphasis on cover and increases the emphasis on maneuvering. Combat will be an extravaganza of heavy use both left AND right analog stick. Better shield response and more clear and consistant head hitboxes will provide players with better responsiveness. Lower health for individual enemies will make it feel more like you're actually getting stuff done as you fight, with less feeling of wasted bullets (and this won't make things too easy, since enemy aggressiveness means that you're in danger of the enemies making progress on you, too!)
Players will no longer feel pressured to sit back and take out the enemies in a particular order. Rather, decisions will be made more on-the-fly as it's necessary. You actually *can't* just methodically ping the crawlers down with a rifle, because they'll all be coming for you quickly. And you probably don't *want* to focus exclusively on crawlers if you can avoid them through maneuvering when knights are shooting at you. And you may very well not care about watchers when they're not ressurecting knights, as they won't be shooting you very effectively (and may be programmed to not even try to shoot you) when you're away from them and not trying to get at them.
Because combat is able to be so movement-focused, small changes in terrain can produce new and exciting effects on the actual gameplay of areas. And because things aren't so one-dimensional in how you tackle the 3 types of Prometheans, changing their ratios will also produce very real changes in the feel of gameplay. Furthermore, their behaviours will be very easily dialable to produce different sorts of fights; if you want a more traditional and cover-emphasizing fight, go heavy on Knights and tweak an AI knob that tells them to not jump so much, and another thing that tells them to only move within that one area of the arena you want them to hold. Thus creating real gameplay variety will be easily accomplished through fairly simple means.
Oh yeah, one other thing: not as many Prometheans (just knights, now) will drop weapons. This shouldn't be an issue if those weapons are reasonably persistant and hold reasonable amounts of good, juicy ammo. Let's avoid people feeling like they're forced to perform crate fetch quests. Crate fetch quests are fine, but they feel icky if you feel like you have to do them, especially on a regular basis.
Oh yeah, one other other thing: you might have noticed that these watchers, well, spend most of their time watching. That's okay. They could actually be included as something to introduce well into the game, with many fights not featuring them at all. The Knight/crawler dynamic works without them, so they may be used as extra flavour and progression in fights later on.
Now, these Prometheans by themselves may very well not provide all the sorts of combat you want in a game. That's where the Covenant come in, and possibly also sentinals and Flood.
Alright, how many terrible problems are there with this idea?
|What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joystiq)||MacGyver10||3/31/13 5:50 pm|
|Very well said *NM*||GrimBrother One||3/31/13 6:14 pm|
|Appreciate the support on Waypoint, too.||GrimBrother One||3/31/13 9:50 pm|
|Re: Appreciate the support on Waypoint, too.||MacGyver10||3/31/13 10:09 pm|
|Re: Appreciate the support on Waypoint, too.||Metalingus627||3/31/13 10:47 pm|
|I don't think that they can be fixed||scarab||3/31/13 7:02 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||BlueNinja||3/31/13 7:10 pm|
|I hope we don't *NM*||scarab||3/31/13 7:26 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||DEEP NNN||3/31/13 7:57 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||scarab||3/31/13 9:36 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||DEEP NNN||3/31/13 10:28 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||General Vagueness||4/1/13 6:53 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||DEEP NNN||4/1/13 7:05 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||General Vagueness||4/1/13 7:16 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||DEEP NNN||4/1/13 7:28 pm|
|Re: I don't think that they can be fixed||General Vagueness||4/2/13 12:29 am|
|Re: What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joys||TDSpiral||3/31/13 7:24 pm|
|Re: What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joys||davidfuchs||3/31/13 10:32 pm|
|Re: What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joys||General Vagueness||4/1/13 6:55 pm|
|Super mega definitive guide to fixing Prometheans||uberfoop||4/1/13 12:36 am|
|Re: Super mega definitive guide to fixing Promethe||Ragashingo||4/1/13 2:07 am|
|Re: Super mega definitive guide to fixing Promethe||Metalingus627||4/1/13 7:37 pm|
|Re: Super mega definitive guide to fixing Promethe||uberfoop||4/1/13 11:39 pm|
|Re: Super mega definitive guide to fixing Promethe||thebruce0||4/3/13 10:42 am|
|Love this. So much.||Monochron||4/2/13 11:07 am|
|Polishing a turd||scarab||4/2/13 11:46 am|
|New mechanic: Induction charging / signal strenth||scarab||4/2/13 1:41 pm|
|Re: What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joys||Kermit||4/1/13 8:40 am|
|Re: What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joys||General Vagueness||4/1/13 7:11 pm|
|Re: What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joys||stabbim||4/1/13 12:01 pm|
|Re: What Went Wrong With the Prometheans (via Joys||General Vagueness||4/1/13 6:43 pm|