Executive Producer of Halo 5: Guardians Josh Holmes published the results and findings of the recent multiplayer beta. Holmes reiterated that the recent beta was for game balance and tweaking rather than testing the stability of a multiplayer network, an issue that many The Master Chief Collection fans likely have concerns about.
In the past, betas for games on console have typically been used for online scale testing in the weeks prior to a game’s launch. In our case, we provided a true “working” beta that was a snapshot of our game in development. Halo 5: Guardians represents one of the most substantial evolutions of core combat in franchise history. We felt it was crucial to get it in the hands of fans early to ensure we have enough development time to react to key learnings and deliver the best possible game when we release later this year…
Unsurprisingly the beta saw massive participation over its three-week long run — nearly 20 million games were logged for a collective game time of 290 years. Check out the full stats below:
Holmes touched briefly on Spartan Abilities, bonus abilities, and perks for players to use on the battlefield. Holmes explained the Spartan Abilities are still in development, but will focus on several aspects such as:
Increase base speed (faster base movement)
Increase strafe acceleration (faster, more responsive strafing)
Reduce top sprint speed (narrow the delta between base movement and sprint)
Modify Ground Pound controls to prevent conflicts w/ crouch jumping
General tuning & bug fixes for all Spartan Abilities (Thrusters, Clamber, Ground Pound, etc.)
There was also talk of new weapons features in Halo 5: Guardians: the new Smart-Link aiming system puts a zoom on all weapons, and the Hydra is formally introduced, and noted for some complications that arose during gameplay.
Our newest weapon, the Hydra, received a mixed response from fans. Hard to use at first, it took some time for players to realize how effective the Hydra is at curving shots around cover at range from within the new Smart-Link system. Once it clicked, people began mopping up, but many players still felt that the weapon didn’t have enough utility in general combat. We’ll be buffing the weapon to make it more effective out of zoom and ensure that it feels like a true power weapon.
The remainder covers multiplayer aesthetics, matchmaking, and goals the development team has in forging a new competitive online shooter. This includes the addition of what Holmes calls the Competitive Skill Rating or CSR for short, a matchmaking rating that pits players together based on skill and gives an indicator for player improvement.
You can check out the full interview right here if you’re into all the details.