Team Arena Fall Preview: An Unwanted Surprise
With many eagerly waiting for more details on the second season of the HCS Pro League, 343 has surprised us with a new Team Arena playlist that features all of the maps and game types 343 hopes to implement come Season Two. Unfortunately for many, this playlist has come as an unwanted surprise with several players being very frustrated with the new ideas 343 has come up with.
This new playlist features new weapons and new game types for a several maps that have been heavily tested by the 343 team to ensure its competitiveness and enjoyment. Unfortunately, there are many, including pro players, who seem pretty disappointed with what 343 has been working on.
The community's negative reaction to this preview playlist wouldn’t be the first time the community has negatively reacted to a preview playlist. Rewind a few months ago before the first season of the Pro League and 343 released another preview playlist with new ideas to “change up the game.” We basically complained for the same reasons and from the looks of it with this new playlist, 343 doesn't seem to know a very good way to change up the game without ruining the player's experience just yet.
For me, there are several red flags about this playlist. For starters, this playlist completely removes the standard Team Arena playlist, which everyone is accustomed to at this point. Forcing the entire community to play a new competitive playlist that won't have any real significance until the fall season begins would aggravate many, even if the maps and game types played well. Add on the problems that come with troubled gametypes and maps, and 343 winds up creating a massive, completely avoidable problem.
Secondly, Assault on Coliseum creates a very hectic and unenjoyable experience that I simply don’t find to be very competitive from what I’m used to. Although the map itself plays fine even with the replacement of the Scattershot for Overshield in bottom mid, Assault is one of those game types that has no place in this game in my opinion. The fast-paced mechanics, such as Thruster, Ground Pound and Spartan Charge, create a very hectic experience that, in many situations, leads to a pointless arm attempt even though my team outplayed our opponents prior to me arming the bomb.
With these fast mechanics, players can easily rush out of their spawn and continue their defensive attempts leading to several stalemates that simply shouldn't happen. In past assault games when the game itself had no sprint, getting all four dead in an offensive attempt would almost guarantee you an arm, but in Halo 5, defenders are given an undeserved second chance that ruins my entire experience.
Lastly, I have noticed a few weapon placements that seem very unnecessary. Like Paul "SnakeBite" Duarte said in the tweet he posted above, adding a Silenced SMG on Plaza seems very unnecessary. An already powerful weapon being given any kind of enhancement ruins it in my eyes. I personally felt that the SMG, as it initially was, worked fine, but for some reason, 343 felt it needed to be changed. If the majority of the community has developed tolerance for it already, why change it this late in the game’s life?
Another topic that gets under my skin, but I'm not too sure if it's true, is that pro players have little to no say on this subject. I will not disclose the name of the person who told me this, but apparently some pros have let out their frustration on the Beyond Forums, claiming that their feedback has little impact on the changes 343 made. As I said earlier, I can't completely confirm if this is true, but if it is, I would be very disappointed in 343 and if I were a pro, I would feel insulted considering my status as a player and as an ambassador to the community.
Luckily for us, changes can be made moving forward and these game types and maps will most likely be heavily adjusted prior to Season Two. Hopefully, 343 has learned a lot from the community's feedback and makes the necessary adjustments soon.
What do you think about the Fall Preview playlist? Let me know in the comments section below.
Zachery Chevere can be contacted on Twitter @PmL_Zarhaz
Image credits go to Twitter, 343 Industires, ScoopNest and Halo Waypoint