Last week, 343 Industries released a statement regarding the final version of the 2017 HCS settings. Let’s take a look at a few of the significant map-by-map changes to see how things will change.

 

Fathom and The Rig

On both Fathom and Rig, the Railguns have had their ammo slightly reduced. Although only one shot is lost, the difference is magnified due to the context. Both maps had the Camo power-up, which when combined with the Railgun could lead to gargantuan kill leads. The Railgun is an extremely powerful weapon due to its one-hit-kill potential without the need to hit a headshot. The only thing to account for on the Railgun was the charge time, but with the charge-up being as short as it is, this was easily compensated for.

The Bottom-Mid area of Fathom, where the Railgun spawns. Courtesy of Team Beyond.

The Scattershot on the Rig has also had its ammo reduced by a magazine. Again, this weapon was extremely potent when paired with the Camo. However, the Scattershot is extremely inconsistent. The weapon could kill you with one shot from an incomprehensible range for a shotgun, but then do negligible damage at melee distance. This change will lower its influence on the map and force teams to work better together to break setups.

 

Truth

Bottom-Mid on Truth, where the Tactical Magnum will now spawn. Courtesy of GameCrate.

On Truth, all rifles have been removed and a Tactical Magnum has been placed in bottom-mid. This magnum has a suppressor and a scope, allowing the shooter to remain off the radar while firing, while also offering range close to that of a Battle Rifle.

These changes have the potential to entirely change the meta on Truth. The rifles, as agreed upon by most of the competitive community, are far too powerful when compared to the Magnum. This, along with their abundance on most maps, meant that freshly spawned players were at a severe disadvantage to those who spawned slightly prior. The rifles were not hard to obtain as they often spawned near the initial spawns of both teams.

This led to players with rifles being able to lay damage down from across the map, allowing for easy clean up kills for their teammates, especially when these weapons spawned at Pink 2. Removing these rifles will increase the overall pace of Truth matches and will also showcase more gun-skill.

 

Future Changes

While this is a great start, these changes have been requested for a long time, which is part of the issue. It has been 17 months since Halo 5 released. The competitive community has called for these changes since launch and are only now receiving them. While it may be a case of “too little, too late,” 343’s rapid response to feedback after HWC 2017 bodes well for the future.

Going forward, other suggestions include the removal of grenade hitmarkers, as they provide free information to the player and encourage the spamming of explosives. Another idea is to take a look at some of the rifles, specifically the Carbine. Many pros, such as Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom, have suggested that the Carbine specifically needs to be removed. This is not necessarily due to the kill-time of the Carbine, but its rate of fire. The fast ROF allows a user to easily de-scope opponents and pick up easy kills, or force opponents to back down. The Carbine has become detrimental to movement, forcing the game to slow down.

However, with the changes we have already received, the Summer 2017 Season will now be a blast to both play and watch.

 

What do you think of these changes? What other changes would you like to see? Be sure to let me know!

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Header image courtesy of Halo Waypoint.

 

Devin is a veteran of the Halo franchise. Starting at the age of 3 with his uncle in Halo: Combat Evolved, Devin later moved to competition. He went on to earn local event wins, as well as competing at some MLG events. Devin now covers competitive Halo for The Game Haus.

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