Earlier this week, 343 Industries introduced the highly-anticipated Halo 5 heavy aim hotfix. To review, heavy aim is an instance in which the aiming mechanics suddenly become inconsistent. The inconsistencies manifest themselves as sluggish reticle movement, and an overall decrease in precision. Since the release of Halo 5, players both competitive and casual have repeatedly complained about the condition. The commotion caught the attention of 343 Industries, who then began work on a patch.
The patch isn’t perfect, however, as some players still report persisting problems with heavy aim. Others report more serious problems with in-game latency. This may feel like a slap in the face of the Halo community, as most players yearn for a consistent aiming system similar to the Halo titles of old. This article will recap the Halo 5 hot fix, and discuss its impact on the game.
A Definitive Fix?
In the bulletin, Brian “ske7ch” Jarrard of 343 Industries addressed the heavy aim problem, and answered questions about the new patch. Jarrard states that the programming team successfully identified the specific condition responsible for heavy aim, and have since reprogrammed it. He describes the cause of the problem as a “bad state” in Halo 5, that caused the input lag to increase to an undesirable level. Although he didn’t get more specific, Jarrard claims that the update will no longer place players in said state.
Additionally, Jarrard references a hotfix from December, that several believed to be a failed attempt at solving the heavy aim problem. He clears the air around the December hotfix, declaring that the aforementioned patch was a separate issue affecting input latency. After receiving feedback from the patch, specifically related to the persistence of heavy aim, the team at 343i continued to investigate possible causes.
Jarrard concludes by confronting a misconception about the current hotfix. He reaffirms that while the hotfix will resolve heavy aim, it is not a comprehensive aiming overhaul. The hotfix is a solution to heavy aim specifically. Players who previously experienced heavy aim will no longer observe the phenomenon, while others may not even notice a difference. It remains to be seen if 343 Industries will address the criticisms of Halo 5’s aim mechanics.
Other Problems Emerge
Although the hotfix has seen praise for eliminating heavy aim, some speculate that it consequently introduces new problems to Halo 5. In a poll administered by TeamBeyond, over half of the participants report a slight effectiveness in reducing instances of heavy aim, but with new problems like bullet latency and blank shots occurring.
Such problems with bullet registration can be largely detrimental to the outcome of a game. Players may experience these issues during critical gunfights in matchmaking, or even at a live event. Often in competitive Halo, battles are decided by a single shot. If the rightful winner of a gunfight ends up on the respawn screen because of bad hit registration, it further compromises the competitive integrity of Halo 5. The score of new issues has further irritated a community whose patience is already running thin. Some wonder how long it will take 343 Industries to address the potential bullet registration discrepancies, if at all.
These issues, however, are not widespread and may even be the product of a placebo effect. Because the update is still fresh, it will take some time to determine the full impact of the fix. In the meantime, Ske7ch and 343 Industries are actively seeking feedback for the hotfix, and will continue investigating the issue.
Are you still experiencing heavy aim? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image by 343 Industries