The next free Halo 5 update delivers something quite interesting.
Halo 5: Memories of Reach update add Infection mode, REQ weapon rebalance
Halo 5: Guardians is due for another free update, and Memories of Reach is a nice hefty packet due sometime in early May; not this week, though.
The headline addition is the return of a popular mode called Infection. A 12-player mode played over four rounds of 3 minutes each, it pits normal Spartan players "Infected", who are equipped with Thrust, Smart Scope and Stabilize. A stack of new medals have been prepared specifically for this mode.
The update will also add more controller options, UI updates, new armour, skins, weapons, a new Arena battleground, extra matchmaking preference options, Forge updates and more.
You can preview a big stack of REQ additions in the image below, but if you play in REQ modes you should also visit Halo Waypoint to read about a major rebalancing coming with Memories of Reach.
343 Industries has devised a new metric to measure weapon effectiveness: kills per use, where "use" is a period of having a weapon equipped as primary for five seconds or more. This, combined with damage dealt per use, allows the developer to get a better idea of how deadly a boomstick is beyond the headcount, without getting muddled by factors like spawn frequency.
A detailed analysis of how the developer arrives at its conclusion is, of course, only the lead into the nerfs and buffs. 343 is pretty happy with Halo 5's weapon balance in general, but noted some instances where rarer weapons were less effective than common ones, which is not ideal. One example is Pool of Radiance, which the developer found was not applying damage over time as intended.
The Plasma Caster and Hyrda have been given a special polish. After Memories of Reach releases, cluster grenades will be more effective, the charge shot will arc less, and regular grenades will explode more quickly after bouncing. The Hydra launcher will feature less recoil and increased splash damage, while the Typhon variant can lock onto three targets at once.
Here are the full balance notes:
- Plasma Caster: Default
- Reduced non-charged timer from 0.5 to 0.3 (less overshooting of enemies)
- Sticky grenade has less arc (to be able to place it on the map more reliably)
- Sticky grenade detonation is now more damaging vs. vehicles, but less damaging vs bipeds (will still kill bipeds in one shot when stuck)
- Increased sticky grenade submunition damage values from 43 to 75 (indirect fire from a sticky shot can now actually kill!)
- Sticky submunition grenade inner AOE increased from 0.65 to 1.0
- Plasma Caster: White Scar
- Needles have improved aim toward nearby targets
- Plasma Caster: Scourge of Fire
- Sticky shot now has 7 submunitions instead of 5
- Hydra Launcher: Default
- Reduced recoil in hip
- Increased inner AOE radius from 0.4 to 0.8
- Increased impact damage to make it more effective against vehicles (still two rockets to kill Spartan)
- Hydra Launcher: Typhon
- Enabled multi lock on for up to 3 targets
- Increased impact damage (still two rockets to kill Spartan)
- Scattershot: Loathsome Thing
- Increased number of hardlight projectiles to be same as normal scattershot (5 -> 8)
- Rocket Launcher: High Five
- Increased AOE radius on cluster rockets
- Binary Rifle: Twin Jewels of Maethrillian
- Reduced recoil
- Placed twin projectiles a bit closer together for easier biped targeting
- Covenant Carbine: Rain of Oblivion
- Reduced recoil
- Increased zoom magnification a bit (closer to default Carbine)
- Incineration Cannon: River of Light
- Added slight homing to charge shot to hit multiple bipeds easier
- Incineration Cannon: Heartseeker
- Added proximity detonation to charge shot (like the normal Inc. Cannon has) to make it more effective against airborne targets or targets behind cover
- Fuel Rod Cannon: Pool of Radiance
- Fixed a damage bug (was not causing AOE damage on initial explosion)
- Made projectile thicker
- Needler: Talon of the Lost
- Reduced supercombine count to be same as normal Needler
- Needles have longer lifetime to more easily supercombines against difficult to hit targets (8s instead of 4s)
- Spartan Laser: Selene’s Lance
- Reduced recoil
- Made beam thicker