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RVideo
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#1
01-25-2015
Default Has the era of "legendary" maps gone for good?

I don't know why I was thinking this but I wonder sometimes why nobody really talks about a particular map made after Halo 3 like it is a familiar playground. How many times have you said (or heard someone say) over the years things like

"Remember the time we played TS on Lockout/Midship/Guardian/Warlock? Yeah that was crazy shit"

"Loved all the drunk BTB games on Containment/Coag/Waterworks/Headlong/Sandtrap!"

If you mention words like Sanctuary, Beaver Creek, Terminal, The Pit or even Gemini most die hard Halo fans can immediately picture *themselves* playing on any of those maps and almost certainly recall fond memories of games played on them. These maps all had a definitive 'sense of place' that emblazoned them onto the minds eye forever. They had personality and were not geometries of anonymous if ornate sterility, forgettable spaces that I played in ODST, Reach and H4 ( and predictably, H5 I'm guessing). Playing on them was almost like actually visiting them in person sometimes.

But since Halo3 I have not played a single map that made me feel this way. I don't know what it is or how to describe it so maybe you can help me figure out what I am thinking here. But still, I wonder if we were just lucky enough to capture a golden moment in time when multiplayer was at its best, but is perhaps lost and whose quintessence may never be realized again.

What do you think

Last edited by RVideo; 01-25-2015 at 09:21 PM.
Organic
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#2
01-25-2015
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The Pit is probably the best map in H3. Guardian is good too
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Al
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#3
01-25-2015
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The main problem is they are designing these games now to cater to casuals. Pleasing noobs is 100% their goal. There are more casuals than hardcore players so that means more sales.

In their eyes small maps aren't good because noobs will be constantly getting shot. Can't have that. That also have to be easy to navigate; enter giant fucking platforms and wide walkways.

Noobs can't die or else they will get pissed and play some other game. To fix this problem every single square foot on the map must have a fucking back door to escape through. And then that back door has a back door. And then that back door leads to an alley way that exits right above where you're fucking standing. Because you know, got to keep it fair.

Because casuals are dazzled by graphics and pretty lights, art takes a forefront. Stairs have to have actual geometry and not just be a skinned ramp. Fuck you and you're grenade placement skills. That's an unfair advantage. There needs to be ledges with edges and those edges need edges. Random boxes and scenery need to litter the floor to create a sense of realism because fuck it we've already gone this far what's a little more.

All of these things wouldn't be a problem tho if the gameplay wasn't fundamentally broken. Ass backwards decisions like sprint, armor abilities, thruster packs, unnecessary animations, and bloom do more damage to gameplay and replayability than crappy maps.

We have now arrived at the source of this problem; shit fucking game design.




Last edited by Al; 01-25-2015 at 10:01 PM.
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#4
01-25-2015
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It's interesting that you used the word playground. Playgrounds for kids tend to have very simple geometry because they don't need to look beautiful, they just need to be fun and allow you to do cool shit. Halo 1 and Halo 2 used a stupidly low amount of polygons in the maps. Lockout has sharp corners all over the place, but nobody gave a shit because you had plenty of flat surfaces to bank nades off of.

343 tried to take the COD route and "immerse" the player in a painstakingly crafted environment that was embellished until the art department was blue in the face.

Moar polygons yo, we gotta use em all.

The lighting in H3 was fucking beautiful. A lot of the color schemes on the maps seem to be established by lighting rather than textures (Guardian and Construct are good examples). There's also a lot of subtle lighting effects going on that add to the detail. Load up any Halo 3 map and there's probably some structure with slowly pulsing lighting coming out of some alien looking engraving, like this.

I could be wrong but I don't remember lighting like that in H4. A lot more polygons and dumb bullshit, that's for sure. Also the stupid bloom/glow shit they put on every surface, it hurts my eyes to look at that crap for too long.

I agree with Al, it's all a result of poor game design. Arena maps no longer exist with the addition of sprint. Everything has to be stretched out to accommodate the new game mechanic, and you end up with fewer close quarters engagements and more long range firefights.

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#5
01-26-2015
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Agree with everyone in this thread, Halo died after 3, not a single good map since then, whoever disagrees can suck on cat dick
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#6
01-26-2015
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As the others have hit on, you can thank armor abilities and sprint for this. They influence the map design too heavily and as such we lose incredibly interesting and vertical maps like Damnation and Lockout in favor of horizontally stretched maps littered with objects obstructing lines of sight. The least egregious examples being Zealot and Haven. This homogenizes the experience, leading to boring gameplay and unmemorable maps. I mean fuck, I had to think hard about what Zealot was named and had to actually look it up it was that unmemorable.
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#7
01-26-2015
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It's not necessarily that the maps themselves are designed poorly, it's the way the games that play them makes them worthless. I can assure you guys that if some of the maps that came with Halo Reach, 4 and now 5 were cattered to fit Halo 2 or Halo 3, they would be loved. As Savagr pointed out, it's a lot about the lighting and the small details we don't even think about in-game, but it's also like Al said, that the maps have to be stretched out to properly take use of the new mechanics.

It really is the games fault that we hate the maps. If the game is a fluke, nothing will feel right.







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#8
01-26-2015
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I have to make/find my own fun on h4

never had to on h1-3
RVideo
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#9
01-26-2015
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I can have just as good a time playing a quick match on Narrows today as I did seven years ago. I just don't see anyone saying that about any Reach/ODST/H4 stage in 2021.
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#10
01-26-2015
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If you named a map after Halo 3 I wouldn't have a clue what to picture in my head. The magic was lost. They started losing it during Halo 3 though, some of the DLC maps were extraordinarily shitty.
 

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