Through constant feedback and discussion, GoldPRO settings for Halo Reach continuously strive to find the best settings possible for the competitive Halo community. V2 Out Now.


    Official Settings Q&A thread

    Kurtiz
    Kurtiz
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    Official Settings Q&A thread Empty Official Settings Q&A thread

    Post  Kurtiz on Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:51 pm

    Why?

    This thread is where you come to find out the nitty gritty of our settings. Exactly what they are, and exactly why every setting is like that. You can also ask questions and we will do our best to answer them.

    Below is our thought process that we went through when making the Gold Pro v1 settings, it is advised to read through this before asking any questions, as the answer is most likely within the text.




    Introduction
    We have been discussing the future of competitive Halo for a long time now, going very in-depth into which settings to use and every effect they would have on gameplay. With the Title Update out, Combat Evolved Anniversary just around the corner, and the 2012 season of MLG in mind, we wanted to really push Halo: Reach to its full potential.

    The 2011 MLG gametypes were limited, and for good reason; the game was new, the maps were limited, there were problems with gametypes such as King of the Hill (random hills) and Oddball (fast reset). We were forced to play with bloom and no bleed through as well which made everything worse.
    But now we can start fresh, those problems have been fixed and we have a large space of time between 2011 Nationals and the 2012 Opener to really restart and fine tune Reach, while taking advantage of all of the new things 343 are offering us.

    Goals
    We had to first understand exactly what Halo is, what has made it work in the past, and what exactly is holding Reach back. Starting from the game which started it all, the one known as the best Halo game of all time, Halo: Combat Evolved, we set out to find exactly what set these two games apart. The kill time stands out first, with the utility weapon (Pistol) having a potential kill time of 0.6seconds, while Reach's (DMR) has over double that at 1.5seconds.

    Secondly we noticed there were no Armor Abilities, and that the base movement speed was a lot faster and more responsive. Those two things meant that players had the ability to kill faster, but also the ability to dodge bullets better. This means that even though the Pistol was capable of a three shot kill, it didn't actually happen very often in high-level gameplay as strafing was a key element. This definitely needs to be taken into account when trying to make Reach a more enjoyable and competitive game.

    Now don't get us wrong, we aren't just blind CE fans, we looked at Halo 2 as well, another Halo game which was hugely famous for not only how fun it was, but how competitive it was. In H2 the kill times were very fast, and the strafing was pretty effective too which is why despite the huge aim assist, the game worked.

    With both of these games, we had rapid respawning Power Items, and a fairly large sandbox. This forced map movement and added variety to the game, requiring a different array of skills, instead of just utility & Sniper use.

    After much discussion, we finally came to an agreement on these three things;
    -The utility weapon needed to kill faster.
    -Base movement and strafing needed to be improved in place of Sprint.
    -Power Items needed to spawn faster and the sandbox needed to be bigger.


    Kill Faster: Damage settings
    The first major difference between Reach and previous successful Halo titles is the kill speed; Reach is just too slow. We needed to empower the individual, and to allow each person to have a chance at doing some damage no matter where they are, or what they have. Currently in Reach players spawn with a weapon that is simply too weak against Power Items such as the Sniper Rifle, Grenade Launcher or the Rocket Launcher. Pick-ups should give players an advantage, but not make them near impossible to kill. Right now players with pick-ups do not get punished enough for bad moves they make with them.

    For example a player with the Rocket Launcher can be almost careless with where he aims his Rockets because he has 2 of them to use and isn't really at any risk of dying if he doesn't kill the enemy outright with the first Rocket. And on the other hand the player versing a Rocket user can be landing all of his shots perfectly and maneuvering around really well to dodge Rockets and still get no where, simply because his gun is too weak to be able to out-play the Rocket user.

    Similarly with Sniper Rifle users, they can just keep popping out to try and hit shots without any real threat of dying. You see it time and time again; someone with a Sniper Rifle keeps popping their head out for another chance at landing a hit, even though they are being fired at. There is just no sense of threat from the DMR.

    4sk was decided on because at 1.5seconds the 5sk DMR was decent, but we really needed to get closer to the 1second mark. The 4sk DMR takes 1.2seconds which is perfect for what we were going for; it empowers the individual and gives them a chance against players with Power Items, but not to the point where said Power Items are useless.

    We now needed damage settings to make the weapon a 4sk without breaking other elements of the game. After researching and trying different settings out, we found that the 125damage/150resist settings by 'allnamesrtaken' were the best to use. This setting makes the DMR a 4sk to the head, and a 7sk to the body which encourages aiming for the head as body shots take too long to kill.

    Zanno's "125 damage/150 resist for a 4sk DMR" thread contains information about the 4sk setting, and the quotes below are taken from that thread.

    "Update: There is another setting found by allnamesrtaken which defies mathematics, which is 125% damage with 150% resist
    So, here's your options, with the appropriate melee modifiers:
    110% damage 110% resist 75% melee - 4 to the head, 6 to the body
    125% damage 150% resist 90% melee - 4 to the head, 7 to the body

    Update 2: It seems to be universally agreed 125/150 is better" - Zanno

    "I'm a H1 player, where 3 shots kills you quicker which makes you FORCEFULLY play smarter. You can't just run out and get away with anything, you have to learn the habits and trends which in turn makes you a better player and makes the battles more like a chess game. IMO the quicker kill times would benefit the game by not rewarding those that make dull decisions." - Jeenyus

    "I think I'm in love with the 4sk:
    1) Sniping is hard. You cannot just take your time and expect to come out okay anymore. You have to be on top of everything that is going on around you... or you're dead.
    2) Rockets are no longer guaranteed kills. You have to think about what you're doing. The last game I played came down to 49-48 (48 was my team) and I acquired rockets. I spotted a guy, fired my rocket, but he four'd me before my rocket killed him and won the game. It was ****** disgusting. His response time and precision aim won his team the game." - AnestheticXI

    "Are we seriously calling into question the implementation of the 4sk?
    Time and time again, it has been resolutely argued and demonstrated that the faster kill times of the primary weapon benefit competitive play. I shouldn't need to bring up arguments that have been well established by now, considering this has been the main complaint since Halo 2. We know what makes a good Halo game and should forge H:Reach based on that firm knowledge rather than objectivity.

    4sk is finally going to allow us to go back to that methodical, dynamic, and intelligent and power-seeking playstyle reminiscent of HCE. Intelligence, decision making, which are the REAL skills which determine the Halo skill gaps are finally going to be required and rewarded. No more of mindlessly brute-forcing your way across the map. It will require planning of every move and play you make. If you run and are caught at unawares by 2 players - YOU SHOULD DIE. There is no reason to even give you a chance for a poor play. Everybody gets good at aiming. That`s why the skill gap is so small in H3 and Reach." - thetruehalomasterv3

    "A 4 headshot 7 body shot has to be used. how do some people not see how much more this will increase the skill gap. now you are going to have people always going for headshots because they will be rewarded. you're going to see people with sick aim out shoot 2 people a lot more now. Add on top 120 speed and good maps this game is way better then h2.
    125% damage 150% resist 90% melee - 4 to the head, 7 to the body needs to be implemented right away with 120 speed and halo with thrive once again " - sicfish

    "Ran a lot (4 hours worth) of games tonight. We decided that 120 speed, 200 gravity, 125 jump height, 125 damage, 150 resistance was the best way to go. After playing a lot more games exclusively on those settings, I can safely say they are the settings MLG should use. Kill times seemed to be Halo 2 levels - a 4 shot was VERY rare because of the better strafing with those settings. Teamshot was still really important. Pretty much we got punished for any mistake that we made and all of our games were 50-45 or closer. It was amazing.

    Grenades and the grenade launcher are MUCH less effective because of the time they take before you can actually deal any damage. The sniper requires a lot of skill to actually hit good shots. Rockets seemed about the same power. Flanks seemed a lot more important than they currently are. When flanking, I found I could kill a person easily before they noticed I was there and then do significant damage to if not kill a second person. " - Priest_Kahn

    Melees were also taken into consideration; with the 125% damage/150% resistance settings, are Melees still balanced when compared to the rest of the sandbox?
    We did some testing and found that 100% Melee damage was best, for three reasons:

    The first is to do with shoot-Melee combos; on 100% this results in 2 Melees for a kill. It also allows for a 1 shot kill after a Melee (lower Melee damage percentages do not). Finally it allows for a 3 shot then Melee kill (lower Melee damage percentages require you to fully remove the shield, even with bleed-through).

    Secondly was the poor assassination hit-boxes; anyone who has played a fair amount of Reach will tell you that the registry for assassinations is far from consistent. Therefore it is important to keep the power of standard Melee attacks high so that this issue is minimized.
    For example if you sneak up on a player and smack him in the back, but it does not register as an assassination, you at least want it to remove his shield so that you still receive a significant advantage from sneaking up and whacking him. If we nerfed Melee damage, situations where back-smacks do not register as an assassination will leave players without the rightful amount of advantage they deserve (the player should be dead after all, still being alive is bad enough as it is let alone them only receiving a nerfed amount of Melee damage).

    Thirdly is the balance with the rest of the sandbox. A 4sk is fast and players do not have sprint anymore, therefore Melee attacks will not come into the equation as much as they used to. This means that when they do, they need to be rewarding as it is a harder task now.

    Shield recharge rate was another thing we decided to change, by increasing it to 200%. Because the average kill time is going to be quicker, the shields need to recharge quicker as well to add a sense of balance between damage output and damage resistance. This change doesn't cause the initiation of shield charge to happen any sooner, it just means that when it finally does start charging, it takes about 1 second less to complete.
    1-shots are still going to be 1-shots for as long as they usually are, it just means that once they start to recharge they can get back into the battle faster.

    Effective Strafing: Movement settings
    Another difference between CE and Reach, is the difficulty in landing shots. We acknowledged that yes the Pistol in CE can kill faster than the DMR can, however it is a lot harder to use which is where the balance lays. Therefore with the faster 4sk settings, we needed to balance it out by making it harder to aim and the only way to do that, is to improve the strafe effectiveness.

    Movement needed to be increased and we all agreed that 120% movement speed is without a doubt, the best setting to use because it is a small increase but not a ridiculous one (the next increment is 150%). However it did feel a bit slippery...

    Gravity has recently been discovered to have an effect on strafe responsiveness, as if the higher pressure on the spartan give him more grip which allows him to be more agile and not slide as much. It doesn't really make sense, but that is beside the point; it works, so we need to take advantage of it.
    Putting it up to 200% was agreed upon as it significantly improves the responsiveness of the strafe, and doesn't badly effect gameplay in any other way. The only side effects are a slower Jetpack (which can be overcome by pre-jumping) and less fall damage (but the fall stun effect still remains).

    It feels great, you can strafe effectively and it does a wonderful job of balancing the power of the 4sk bloomless DMR. However there is a problem; jumping in 200% gravity.

    Jump height was then increased to 125% to overcome this large amount of gravity, and it works very well. The outcome is a jump somewhere in between that of Reach and previous Halos (which were very high in comparison). You jump an extra few inches high, but fall to the ground faster which makes hang-time roughly the same.

    Sprint was the next big issue; the community seems to be really torn on weather this is a good addition or not which made it really hard for us to decide. One thing we had to keep in mind were previous setting changes, and we all know that Sprint + 120% speed does not work because you simply sprint way too fast and far. This was a huge negative against the inclusion of Sprint before we even started talking about Sprint's effect on gameplay. The other fact was that CE and H2 both did not include sprinting abilities and they worked fine.
    We wont go into our personal thoughts on sprints effect on gameplay, but we will leave you with this poll:

    _Solarity_'s recent Sprint vs No Sprint Poll contains the communities thoughts on sprint (67.47% voted for sprint to be removed), with some good points in the quotes below.


    "Recently my team has found huge success in running around randomly, we team shoot a lot less now, but because we are just sprinting around randomly, putting a few shots then running off to a new location. It makes it extremely difficult for the other team to judge our location. We are basically just abusing the crap out of sprint instead of playing smart and working together like we used to, and sadly its paying off." - Kurtiz

    "The fact that a one shot can run away from a situation is already proof of slow gameplay. One may argue that the other person can give chase through sprint to kill said one shot. Notice something, both players while sprinting cannot shoot. How does one person running away while another chase increase the pace of gameplay? Once you put a timer on it for a given amount of time both players are unable to shoot and simply are just running. I have played enough tag in elementary school to ever want MLG to really play like this." - falcon_911

    "If you ask me, there was NEVER any evidence than Sprint added to the quality of game play. The majority of pros, as well as the community at large, have always considered Sprint as destructive of MLG settings. Sprint has largely been forced into the settings by MLG because they seem to think it will make it more spectator-friendly." - -Ender-

    "I'm saying "No-sprint is what works with Halo. What differentiates the mechanics in Reach (after the title update) from that of Halo 2? Not much. So let's start with what has always worked. Adding armor abilities is an addition that would have to be justified." - -NaStY-

    With the 120% movement speed already in place, the fact that CE and H2 didn't use Sprint, the results of Solarity's recent Sprint poll results & discussion, and finally if we read TheBigShow's 'Why Sprint is Bad for Competitive Halo' thread, we can see that using Sprint is definitely something we do not want to do.

    Map Movement: Power Items
    With player traits decided we needed to start looking at the sandbox. CE and H2 both had relatively rich sandboxes which helped tremendously with adding skill and variety to gameplay, which is apart of the reason fans refer to these games as both competitive AND fun.

    We started from scratch; looking at every single weapon in the game and testing it out, and asking each other if we think it has any competitive merit. We rounded it down to a group which is very similar to the MLG ones, except with some additions. For not we are just adding one, and in later versions will add others for testing if we feel the need, or if the community demands it.

    The Shotgun is the only additional weapon we are adding, with no spare clips and on a 1 minute drop spawn. Every Halo FPS that has been on the MLG pro circuit has made use of a CQC weapon; CE and H2 used the Shotgun, and H3 used the Mauler. The problem with later versions of the shotgun, was nothing. The power of the Shotgun has remained roughly equal throughout all titles, with CE having the most powerful one. So why did no one question the Shotgun in CE?

    The answer is the utility weapon's power. When you have a strong utility weapon, you can deal to Shotgun users before they can get in range, and if they do get in range and kill you, you commend them for moving around stealthily enough to get the jump on you.
    When you have a weak utility weapon, you can't deal to Shotgun users before they get in range very well, resulting in a lot of deaths to Shotguns. And when you do die, you don't commend them for it because you feel ripped off; his gun won him the fight, not him. His gun was just too much stronger than your one for you to consider it a fair fight which makes you angry at the Shotgun, when in reality you should be getting angry at your utility gun for not being strong enough in the first place.

    With 4sk settings, the DMR is more than capable of dealing with Shotgun users, and Shotgun kills will once again be the result of good movement on the user's behalf, instead of the result of rushing with no consequence.

    That is all we are adding to the sandbox for now, but there are still a few other changes:

    The Overshield has been improved in the Gold Pro settings and features 5 seconds of invulnerability followed by an extra 1.6 layers of shield which decays like Overshields did in CE, H2 & H3. There is no visual indication of an OS user except for the forced gold color during the 5 second invulnerability phase. After this phase one must look at shield flare to identify how much shield they have left.

    Kurtiz's OS setting discussion contains more information about the Overshield we are using and below are supporting quotes taken from that thread.

    "The current OS, sucks. It effectively is the same as the red os as it doubles the amount of hits you can take; red os gives you an extra layer, so 8 shots then a headshot. Current custom makes you only take half as much damage, but you only have 1 layer of shield, so 8 shots then a headshot.
    It simply isn't strong enough, nor does it function how OS 'should'." - Kurtiz

    "From what I've seen the current OS is only used to burn. I've never seen someone actually make decent use of it. This idea makes it at least useful." - mattgrimes

    "The 5 second invulnerability really isn't that long. If you grab the OS and immediately walk into either small door it wears off before you reach to either drop holes. I don't see how 5 would be an issue at all, if you know someone just grabbed the OS, don't challenge them for a few seconds. Matter of fact, don't challenge them at all unless you have the upper hand, they have an overshield." - AkaDemiK-Da-KiD

    "Powerups need to feel like powerups again, if your team does not setup properly every 2 minutes to get it then you should be properly punished. Also if you know the player is gold (invincible) then you play conservative for a few seconds then push. It was the same way in h1 if you saw someone grab os on priz you didnt waste nades or shots till a certain period then you rained nades like hell once you knew the invulnerability was off.

    Halo simple needs a powerful os and camo to work effectively if not we just have people running around the maps with their heads cut off and no setups like halos past" - sicfish

    "The current OS seems so lackluster, and with the low amount of choices in weapons and power ups as a whole. It just seems to me that making the OS a priority should be important for keeping people moving around the map" - Wonsonlue

    "Another problem I have noticed with the current OS while watching MLG this weekend, is the melees to no-shield OS players; it doesn't kill them. That just screws with the logic of the game. Melees and Headshots to no-shielded opponents should always equal death, yet this OS stops melees from being so, but still allows headshots to do it.

    With this new proposed OS, things make sense; remove his excessive shield, then melee or headshot him for the kill. How it should be." - Kurtiz

    "I tried using the OS in the MLG settings and it doesn't even seem like much of anything. I think maps need a buffer (OS) to keep a setup and a utility (Camo) to break setups. Halo seems to always play better that way assuming the map is asymmetric which we all know is better for slayer gametypes anyways." - RevolutionaryDreamer

    The Jetpack has also changed from a 34second respawn after death, to a 1minute respawn after death. This was achieved by changing the respawn timer of Jetpacks to 26seconds. Dead bodies take ~34 seconds to disappear from the ground, and with the 26second respawn that makes 1minute after death.
    This was done because with no loadouts, Jetpacks become a lot more valuable because you do not have to give up any movement options to pick it up. Previously you had to give up your Sprint ability to be able to use Jetpack, which put you at a movement-disadvantage to other players. But now no one has Sprint, which means you can use Jetpack without being put as a disadvantage.

    This means that we need to limit the amount of Jetpacks on the map, as well as making them easier to keep track of. Doing math (game time + 34seconds) during a match is hardly ideal, but simply adding 1minute to the game time is very simple to do for both teams, allowing the Jetpack to be controlled.

    Needle Rifles were removed entirely because the DMR already fills the roll that the NR tries to, and does a better job of it. The NR also has been proven to have more aim assist than the DMR as seen in this video here (skip to 1:30)

    Increased aim assist lowers the most basic form of skill gap which is shooting. The DMR works perfectly now so there is no reason to have an easier to use, and uglier version of it in the game.

    Pistols were also removed entirely because of the large amount of spread. At distance you can land a 4sk or not even get a kill with your whole clip. The idea with the pistol is that it is for close range, but the fact is that people can use it long range, and it can kill faster than the DMR at the range, if you are lucky. Luck has no place in competition which is why bloom was so bad, and which is why the current Pistol has been removed.

    b0b43 sums it up nicely in RRealistic's A solution to the no bloom magnum thread:

    We have to consider if we actually want the Magnum in the settings in the first place - yes, it is a very skilled weapon and it fills that gap in close-range combat that really has been missing in Halo for a long time. But unfortunately, the spread on the thing is massive. Like, massive (easily greater than H3 BR spread). If you don't believe me try shooting with the thing from Flag to Flag on Countdown - sometimes it will perfect 4 shot and at others you will empty the entire clip and not get a kill. Such a spread really isn't good for competitive play.

    It also defeats the purpose of no-bloom - what is the point of finally getting the consistency of a straight shooting DMR if we want to add in a weapon that has spread greater than a max-bloomed DMR?

    You could argue that the Pistol is consistent at close range - which it is - and therefore should be used. The Pistol is fantastic and extremely skillful at close range. But no one is going to play with an honour rule of not shooting the Pistol at long range. And when that happens, you will get cross map 4's one time and absolutely nothing the next - that inconsistency that we don't want in competitive play.

    Full list of changes to the current MLG gametypes
    - Zero Bloom Gametypes are used
    Custom Powerup Traits
    - Duration 5 seconds
    - Damage Resistance Invulnerable
    - Shield Multiplier 3x Overshields
    - Shield Recharge Rate Unchanged
    - Player Speed 110%
    - Forced Color Gold
    Base Player Traits
    - Damage Resistance 150%
    - Shield Recharge Rate 200%
    - Damage Modifier 125%
    - Melee Modifier 100%
    - Starting Equipment None
    - Player Speed 120%
    - Jump Height 125%
    - Player Gravity 200%
    Spartan Loadouts
    - Loadout 1 Hidden
    - Loadout 2 Hidden
    Respawn Settings
    - Respawn Traits Duration None


    Maps
    For Gold Pro version 1 we wanted to keep fairly similar to the current MLG settings because we feel those maps have made it onto the MLG circuit for a reason, and because we do not want to throw players off too much straight away. Below is the list of maps and changes to each:

    Countdown
    Shotgun replaces Evade S2 (in CTF)
    DMRs replace NRs
    DMRs replace Pistols

    Nexus
    OS replaces Evade top mid
    DMRs replace NRs
    DMRs replace Pistols

    Oasis
    OS replaces Evade on pipe
    DMRs replace NRs
    DMRs replace Pistols

    Sanctuary
    New Sanctuary 1.5 used (See forge thread here for more info)
    Shotguns replace Plasma Pistols in shotgun tunnels
    Plasma Pistols replace Pistols on PP bridge
    DMRs replace NRs on car

    The Pit
    The Pit V8 used (See forge thread here for more info)
    DMR replaces Evade in long hall
    Shotguns replace Pistols in mauler
    DMRs replace NRs

    Zealot
    Shotgun replaces Evade bottom mid
    OS added to Ring 2
    DMRs replace NRs
    DMRs replace Pistols


    Sultxn
    Sultxn

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    Official Settings Q&A thread Empty Re: Official Settings Q&A thread

    Post  Sultxn on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:32 pm

    Could you guys please post some more of your specific weapon settings? Such as...
    -Number of each weapon/item on map
    -Spawn time of each weapon/item
    -Min/max of each item

    For example what is the shotgun's max value? Some people might wonder these things. Would make it easier for people to adapt the settings to their maps too.
    Kurtiz
    Kurtiz
    Admin

    Posts : 136
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    Official Settings Q&A thread Empty Re: Official Settings Q&A thread

    Post  Kurtiz on Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:17 pm

    # and spawn time of each weapon is the same as current MLG settings unless stated otherwise. The only exception to this is DMRs, as they replace Pistols/NRs for now.

    The shotgun I believe has 4max? I am not 100% sure but I know it is high to prevent the drop spawn from being effected (if its only max 2, and 2 people have them, it wont spawn at the next minute like it should, throwing off the spawns for the rest of the match).

    The current spawn timer for the shotty is 1 minute, however we are thinking of changing it to 2 minutes, or speeding up other timers to match. We will see.

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