Nearly two years after its initial release - and 10 major updates later - developer 343 Industries is still updating and tweaking Halo 5, it's second major entry into the famous first person shooter franchise started by Bungie in 2001. it recently detailed new updates and changes it plans to implement over the course of the fall.
Writing in a blog post, 343 first touches on the Xbox One X update for the game, which it announced back in July. While the developer isn't ready to offer too many details, it did say "there will be a variety of other cool odds and ends included beyond 4K support."
One of the bigger updates the developer details in the post is changes to the game's Sandbox, the developer's system that allows for the game's open-ended nature, as well as what weapons, abilities, and vehicle are in it.
In its first Sandbox update since March, 343 says it's looking to re-balance the Sandbox to a "more desirable state," as well as establishing and strengthening unique roles for weapons to cut down on redundancy. In its post, the developer details some of the tools its using to add what it feels are adequate changes:
Designer Instincts & Team Feedback – The designers have years of experience, design docs, stated goals and principles to fall back on that all helped to make Halo 5 the game that it is today. These folks know how a sandbox item should be behaving. Additionally the team at large is full of passionate, invested players who have no shortage of feedback to share via internal playtests and their own play experiences in the wild.
Game Data – We have loads of very specific, very targeted game data that helps the team understand how every facet of the sandbox is performing, the impact of the interplay between these elements, and the overall impact it all has on the game experience. We look at things like how many kills are earned with a given weapon on average, the average distance of these kills, and more, across all skill levels.
Player Feedback – Through official surveys and ad-hoc forum reports, the studio aggregates targeted as well as unsolicited feedback to help validate data and/or flag a particular area that needs game data follow-up.
The last major detail 343 hits on with its update is how important it feels player feedback is when updating its games, encouraging players to speak up about what they do and don't like with each iteration of Halo 5.
"This is your game as much as it is ours, and touching a sizable swathe of the sandbox is not something the team takes lightly," the developer said. "And it’s important to note that this is all players -- not just a competitive thing -- once finalized, these changes will be updated throughout the entire game."
The developer is hoping to get changes to the game's sandbox in players hands as soon as possible, saying it hopes to give more details about changes next week, as well as how players will be able to playtest the update along the way.
"While we genuinely hope and believe that these changes are all for the best and will ultimately make the game better, we also realize that not everything may work out as we intended or garner the type of player response we’re hoping for," the developer said. "As such, it’s important to us that this plan allows for multiple rounds of iteration so the team can react to feedback, make adjustments, and let players have another go at it."
Halo 5 was released exclusively for the Xbox One on October 27, 2015.