It's almost been two years since Halo 5: Guardians came out in October 2015. While developer 343 Industries is no doubt working on Halo 6, a portion of the team continues to release updates for Halo 5, and this continues with a big weapon tuning update.
In a blog post, the studio said it's been looking at the past (nearly) two years' worth of game data and player feedback and is now ready to talk about the weapon balance changes that players can expect soon. The changes will be first applied to the multiplayer Arena, but will later be extended to Warzone and even the campaign.
As with any big game, not everyone is going to agree with the changes, and 343 said it's going to keep an ear to the ground to respond to feedback as it comes.
"With a game and community as varied and nuanced as Halo 5, it's just not going to be possible to make everyone totally happy all of the time," 343 said. "Some folks may not like certain changes, while others may think some of these changes are great."
Twelve weapons/equipment are being updated to start, including some of Halo's best-known ones like the Assault Rifle, Battle Rifle, and Carbine. You can see a rundown of what's changing and why for these below in the release notes, which were written by 343. Go to the Halo website to see a rundown of the changes for all 12.
343 is rolling out these big changes in phases, of which there will be four. The first will be through a patch that goes live in the late morning time PT "early next week." This patch doesn't include any weapon balance changes, but it's only a "precursor." On September 1, 343 will replace the Team Arena playlist with one called "Weapon Tuning Playlist," and this will contain the changes for everyone to try.
If all goes to plan, the weapon changes will become final across all modes--Arena, Warzone, and Campaign--through a bigger update in November. This update will also add 4K support for Halo 5 on Xbox One X.
Be sure to go to Halo's website to see a full rundown of the testing phases and SO MUCH MORE. It is a ridiculously in-depth post and well worth a read for Halo fans curious about the state of the game.
Halo 5 Weapon Balance Changes:
"The iconic AR is a fully automatic weapon that's fairly effective at mid-range via burst-firing, but more effective at close-range when the trigger is held down. The weapon tuning changes to the AR are designed to reward more skillful use. If you recall, back in April, we revealed there wasn't much difference between a Diamond level player and a Champion level player in regards to AR effectiveness.
This retuned version should be more rewarding when used effectively and hopefully more balanced when battling players that are wielding different weapons."
"The Battle Rifle is another iconic Halo weapon that’s known for high-accuracy burst fire and exceling at mid-range combat. Currently the Halo 5 BR is a bit too effective at all ranges, so the tuning update is designed to help better distinguish its prowess in mid-range engagements. This isn't to say that the BR will outright lose any fight in close or longer ranges either--an accurate player who lands their shots should be able to have a fighting chance even at close-range. This is something we'll be monitoring closely."
"The Carbine is a highly-accurate, fast-firing semi-automatic weapon that’s great at suppressing opponents and cleaning up kills. Today in Halo 5, the Carbine is overly effective at long range, so the upcoming tuning update changes are aimed at strengthening its role as a rapid-fire suppression rifle without being dominant and oppressive from far distances."