Gametype Feature: Old School Settings

Discussion in 'Features' started by AlexVan123, Jul 26, 2016.

By AlexVan123 on Jul 26, 2016 at 7:33 PM
  1. AlexVan123

    AlexVan123 Halo Customs

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    The Old School Settings series of gametypes includes one of the best ways to relive the memories of past Halo games in Halo 5, but better, thanks to 60 fps, fine-tuned settings, and some extremely hard work put in by Kell of Scots and Sgt x Slaphead.

    Old School Settings are a brilliant way to get nostalgic about the games of the past extremely quick. It packs a huge amount of fine-tuning and specified settings, some of which I’ll mention later, to really hit that feeling of games like Halo 2 & Halo 3. A lot of love went into this project, and it really shows! Surprisingly, due to some changes with the movement speed, this gametype properly works on maps scaled to Halo 5’s movement speed and mechanics.

    Some notable changes include the lack of all Spartan abilities and radar, which are obvious when you first play the gametypes, however lots of other fine-tuning has occurred. In terms of movement, players move at 120 speed, close to the speed of sprint, as default. Players also get a movement acceleration of 130 on both axis, meaning that players strafe faster than normal, adding to the fast pace. Additionally, the jump height has been changed to 110 percent, reason being that the jump height in Halo 5 is actually lower than that of classic games.

    In terms of weapon and health changes, players start with the default 2 frag grenades, however they can pick up 4 of each grenade type. Players also start play with a H5 BR and pistol, as opposed to the H2 BR. This change was made because it was found that the H2 BR has too much aim assist to be fair in this mode. Also, the pistol has a faster kill time than before and can be used to finish off kills or as a primary weapon, for more skilled players. Health and shield settings have changed too in order to balance automatic rifles to be more fair.

    I had the lucky opportunity to sit down with the creators of this awesome mode, Kell Of Scots and Sgt x Slaphead, to ask them a few questions.

    What is Old School?

    I love good ol' Halo and I suppose the idea to create Old School settings was born from all that Spartan Charge raging. We didn't simply want to recreate a single Halo from 1-3 but rather take the elements we enjoyed and tweak them into a new game type. I am not opposed to the enhanced mobility that is being pushed these days but we wanted to execute it with the fluidity and refinement of a classic Halo.

    Bungie established what they called the golden triangle of guns, grenades and melee. In Halo 5 standard settings you are encouraged to make use of the new movement mechanics however they prevent you from using these forms of attack at all times. Sprinting lowers your weapon for example. The more refined approach to sprint is to simply increase base movement speed. This allows players to move faster while not disrupting the ability to shoot.

    To me, movement and offensive play is what makes a shooter exciting. Nobody likes campers but what I do like is seeing campers get naded out of their dirty hideouts, I enjoy getting into intense strafing battles and I love as a map designer being able to design around a consistent movement that doesn't present scaling issues and have me worry about people performing jumps that break my intended flow. Kell and myself wanted to push the pace of Halo a little further than it has been before while respecting the simplicity of the mechanics which made the early Halos so successful.

    What were your goals with Old School?

    To remind ourselves what it means to break a game down it's core elements. What we mean by this is that the spartan abilities are illusive. Despite their apparent speeding up of gameplay on paper, they have the reverse effect. We feel that the fluidity of the game has been hurt by the separation of movement and the ability to attack.

    We wanted old school settings to offer the pace and mobility of Halo 5's movement, while never limiting your option to attack.

    Our goal was not initially to make the most competitive mode possible but an accessible gametype that gets to the core of what we think makes an arena FPS awesome while a maintaining a skill gap.

    Why did you settle on the Halo 5 BR?

    We wanted to use the Halo 2 Battle Rifle for the nostalgia and the simple fact that we enjoy using it but unfortunately its aim assist and bullet magnetism along with its spread gives it a lower skill gap than we would like. The Halo 5 BRs tighter spread makes for a more consistent and skill based weapon. It's increased aim assist works well with the faster strafe speed to make aiming not too frustrating while placing emphasis on skillful strafing to win duels. The magnum works well as a side arm for finishing kills over reloading the BR while having a slightly faster kill time than the BR as a trade-off for its difficulty of aiming.

    Another reason for using the H5 BR is it offers more power to the player respawning vs players with power weapons. In Halo CE power weapons are powerful (hence the name) but so was the starting weapon. Something me and Kell of Scots enjoy in weapon sandbox design is the idea that pickups will give you a deserved advantage in specific situations however the difference between the power of these pickups compared to the power of the starting weapon will never be so great that power weapons necessarily guarantee kills. We think that while power weapons should be important, the underdog with only the starting weapon to defend themselves should have some chance of winning duels against the player using pickups. In our settings we initially used increased health to balance automatics as we consider them too powerful despite their ease of use compared to precision weapons. This increased health also makes shotguns and rocket launchers slightly weaker for example. Combine that with the significantly increased speed and strafing capabilities of players and suddenly a Rocket Launcher vs a BR is no longer giving the expected result every time where previous Halos would.

    We have heavily tested using the Halo 5 Magnum, Halo 2 BR and Halo 5 BR as primary starting weapons. For the most competitive settings possible on great connection the Halo 5 Magnum is a great choice. We found the H2 BR with a slight decrease to the movement speeds we have set will offer a mode that feels closer to H2/H3 and is fun for the nostalgia factor. Overall the Halo 5 BR hits a sweet spot for us that balances the competitive, casual and nostalgic gameplay we want to achieve.

    So why did you make the Old School movement the way you did?

    So the changes to movement accomplish three things:

    They up the base movement speed to be on par with sprinting in Halo 5, allowing the gametype to maintain the speed sprint gives, but much more consistently and not separating moving at that speed from your ability to attack. This not only works maintain the perceived faster pace of Halo 5, but actually makes it play even faster as you never have any down time on moving as fast as possible.

    The overhaul to the strafing to allow for consistent, readily available dodging mechanic that is found inherently in a good strafe, and once again, it doesn't separate the dodge from your ability to attack. The increased move speed along strafe overhaul removes those situations found in halo 5 where you die because you didn't have a thrust, which many weapons and the grenades have been balanced around. In order to dodge that weapon, you need thrust. Don't have a thrust? Well you die. We wanted to get rid of that.

    The jump height change has a simple explanation. The base jump height has been reduced in Halo 5 to accommodate for clamber, so when we removed clamber, it needed to be increased.

    But what these changes succeed in achieving together is making for a more consistent move speed that you can truly get used to. With all the different movement speeds in Halo 5, many people find that there is no real sensitivity that allows you always ready be each engagement, and so you never really get used to Halo 5 aiming. These settings having such a consistent movement just brings more predictably to the game, and with it, providing a more competitive experience.

    We did however experiment with keeping ground pound and stabilise, as we don't feel this abilities are inherently broken. If Ground Pound had a smaller cone from where you could aim to land, we might have kept it. But as it is, you can use it to travel distances that, for map flow, we felt were detrimental. As for stabilise, it was just an inconsistency. When you see a player drop, you expect them to land at a certain time, you know It's predictable. We felt stabilise hurt that. It also hands more power over to the map creators, as it can open up some unintended sightlines. In the end we decided that, in their current form, Ground Pound and Stabilise hurt flow enough to be left out of the settings. We kind of see ground pound as the vertical assassination, and we would be open to it in a more classic Halo experience if it didn't affect your melee in mid air, delaying it like it seems to do in base Halo 5, and your cone in which to aim ground pound was reduced.

    What's up with 4 grenades?

    In Old School settings you will start with 2 Frag Grenades but you may hold up to 4 of each grenade type. We enjoy how Halo CE makes use of grenades to punish camping and reward offensive play. For this reason we wanted grenades to promote movement in two ways. Firstly, through empowering attackers with an effective way of flushing enemy players out of power positions and secondly, by encouraging players to collect grenades that can be placed more frequently around the map. In general, more pickups means more movement however because matchmaking standard grenades can be incredibly deadly in Arena, they tend to be placed more sparingly. We wanted to use grenades as a light pickup that keeps players moving and be able to place more on the map. This is akin to how health pickups are used in traditional arena shooters to assist map flow.

    Grenades in Halo 5 show up hit markers to the player therefore we felt they became more powerful in assisting players zone in on campers. Because they offer more information to the player through hit markers we decided to weaken grenades for balancing purposes. Grenades in Old School settings have 110% damage (which is still slightly weaker than standard Halo 5 due to increased health) and 90% blast radius since we considered 100% blast radius to be more optimized for the thruster pack. This also means a single grenade requires a little more accuracy than usual to do serious damage.

    What can we expect from you in the future?

    You can expect us to continue to give fiery responses to those who say the that Halo needs to evolve, as that argument has a weaker foundation than a shed built on an erupting volcano.

    No one tired got tired of classic Halo, it was taken away from the community, we would like to give it back. Enjoy it!

    You can expect us be hosting old school lobbies, compiling a list of maps on our bookmarks that suit the settings including remakes and but we are more excited about original designs that built around the settings, or support them already.

    You can download these gametypes and try them out yourself here.
    #1 AlexVan123, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2016
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Discussion in 'Features' started by AlexVan123, Jul 26, 2016.

    1. S0UL FLAME
    2. Doju
      About time more custom settings came out in this game. Disappointed more havent done it. Good job to @MartianMallCop and co.

      Certainly looks more like a game I would play. Not a million different inputs for movement, battles not being prolonged by thruster/sprint. Good stuff.

      As for the settings, that movement acceleration is far too high. It looks like a PC game in terms of movement. That is fine, but the controller sucks. 110, or 120 at a push will be fine. If you make the strafe "too good", you just knock the average kill time up too high, slowing the game down, and bringing one of the negatives of Halo 3 back for no reason. A 4sk pistol with a good stafe would arguably be better. Might be better of making a name change than calling it old school if the game is based around h2/3 rather than 1.

      No need for 4 splinters, or any. It is classic after all.

      Dont nerf nades. Higher movement speed nerfs them already.
      SecretSchnitzel likes this.
    3. OutlawSkot33
      Radar was in all the old Halo games. How is no radar old school?
    4. Kell Of Scots
      Kell Of Scots
      We personally feel that the movement that fast is what offsets the aim assist on the BR. We called it old school not specifically because it's classic Halo, but because it reflects the ideals of older Halo, and Arena Shooters in general. We didn't want to recreate Halo 2/3. We were trying to offer something else.

      The grenades got a damage buff as well as a carry capacity buff, so a 90% range to 110% makes them more about zoning and rewarding more precise throws in our opinion. Besides, the radius was designed around having a thruster, which if course was removed.

      Only for social gamemodes, Radar is generally turned off for more competitive mode. Besides, Halo generally plays better with no Radar as it promotes movement and teamwork.
      Blaze and MartianMallCop like this.
    5. Doju
      Not saying it doesn't offset the aim assist, it certainly does that. But the minimum kill time is too high for such a quick speed/strafe.

      The interview references h2/h3, but if you claim it isint trying to do that, then the BR really shouldn't be the starting weapon if competitiveness is a selling point.

      I think the changes are all in good attention, but the repercussion (like too long kill times) haven't been thought through, which will lead to more team shooting. difficulty of aiming and long kill times can't exist in a game with regenerating health.
      SecretSchnitzel likes this.
    6. Kell Of Scots
      Kell Of Scots
      Oh we did think it through, don't worry. As we point out in the interview, we feel the Magnum can get to finicky at those movespeeds, and if you're trying to fight the bad Halo 5 aiming as well as the strafe battles, it can get tedious. But we wanted to maintain that movespeed as we felt it was important as it maintains the fast mobility of Arena Shooters and even Halo 5, but we set out to not seperate the two like Halo 5 does.

      We also appreciate the ability to be able to turn on people and oustrafe them and receive that reversal. As you lower the killtime, your ability to do that gets reduced, and we personally enjoy that the person who got the first shot doesn't necessarily win. And if you shorten the kill time, you approach those situations more.

      It's important to mention neither Slap nor myself think Any Halo was perfect, and they all did something better or something worse. And we also feel the movement of older Arena Shooters was more fun.

      In many ways these settings reflect how we feel Halo should have evolved After Halo 3, if people wanted a genuinely faster Halo game. Going back to close to Halo 2 killtime and overhauling the movement.

      We personally don't feel the Killtime negatively impacts the gametype enough. It just rewards good strafing as much as a good aim.
    7. Doju
      I said lower the kill times, not make it a "who sees who first " shooter (don't take my argument to the extreme). A 4sk pistol with a 1.01 kill time and these strafe a seems decent. If the move speeds are causing issues with the pistol, don't throw out the pistol.

      Yes, arena shooters are fast strafe wise, but also have health, if engagements are too long, the game slows to a crawl.

      If you increase the kill time, you are weakening the individual, not strengthening them. This leads to less reversals since the engagements are so long (less 1v1s happen)
      SecretSchnitzel likes this.
    8. Kell Of Scots
      Kell Of Scots
      I wasn't making it an extreme, I was just point out that you do get closer to that.

      As for the other parts, we don't think those situations occur in the settings, especially if maps are properly segemented then you will be engaging at the ranges the map maker intended.

      We never feel we don't want to get into a close range engagement, in the contrary, we feel when you have a stafe that powerful, you are empowered as you feel more confident getting into a close range battle.
    9. Doju
      And if 2 people have good strafed you just prolong the engagement.

      I hate to be the CE guy, but that's a game with a low kill time, high average kill time. That kill time is less than half of the BR. So you can see where the concern is where individuals are being gimped further. Although that is closer to halo 3.

      It just leads to frustration if players can't secure kills. It's why sprint/thruster is disliked.

      A couple of small changes rectify the problem.
      SecretSchnitzel likes this.
    10. Kell Of Scots
      Kell Of Scots

      But of course Halo 1 is a different game from even Halo 2/3. And in many way our settings are different from any of these games too.

      We don't feel the engagements go on to long. If you have a preference for Halo 1, you may feel that way. I don't really have a preference in Older Halo games, just elements I prefer from each.

      And I personally do enjoy the 4 shot strafe dance, the pacing the BR presents in fights in our settings

      They aren't supposed to be the most competitive, the most similar to any one Halo game. They are what we found fun. They are an amalgamation of things we enjoy about OG Halo and Arena Shooters, and how we feel Halo should have moved forward after Halo 3

      We enjoy the longer 1v1 fights, we enjoy how a gunfight is a fight, how you have an intimate engagement that can last a little and be rewarded for winning that battle

      How you feel about these settings will come down to what you valued in a Halo Game.
      MartianMallCop and S0UL FLAME like this.
    11. HeX Reapers
      HeX Reapers
      Shame the H2 BR didn't work out, but nonetheless, still very excited! I myself have been trying to revise some sort of classic settings for this kind of thing, but clearly you've beaten me to it with a lot more thought and testing. Will there be a topic pinned up announcing lobby times/dates?
    12. AnonomissX
      Doing god's work boys!

      Can't wait to try it out :)
      Kell Of Scots likes this.
    13. fame28
      Is it just me or did I expect to see settings that matched the old gametypes, closer not added speeds to "account for sprint"...? I was expecting to see listings of settings for CE, 1, 2 & 3 to match the true original walk speed, jump settings, grenade strength based on a measurement of some sort (warthog, hill marker, spartan scaling). These setting above don't seem to match original game play via their descriptions.
      Preacher001 and HeX Reapers like this.
    14. HeX Reapers
      HeX Reapers
      Yeah, you know some of these settings player-wise are barely touched. Shields/health settings don't seem to be changed much, which is wierd because that means recharge speeds and things like bleed through have not been implemented.
      fame28 likes this.
    15. thrillerkillers
    16. Kell Of Scots
      Kell Of Scots
      Because these settings are not designed to Copy the past

      They are designed to show Halo can be faster without a bunch of abilities seperating Movement and the Ability to Attack

      The Name Old school relates to Arena Shooters in general, not just Halo. They are how we feel "speeding up Halo" should be handled

      By not seperating Movement from the ability to Attack
      a Chunk and MartianMallCop like this.
    17. fame28
      Old School Settings - did kind of imply to me Halo classic settings, but yeah I understand what you mean.
      Preacher001 likes this.
    18. SecretSchnitzel
      Just a nitpick, but 120 speed is actually faster than sprint. Sprint is roughly 115% of base movement.
    19. MartianMallCop
      Schnitz we actually tested it and it isn't. It's around the same speed to slightly slower

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