343 Industries announces changes to the balance of Halo 5’s campaign, including increased difficulty for single-player and decreased difficulty for co-operative play.

When Halo 5: Guardians released last year, the title was seen as a strong return to form for the Halo series at large. Although the game was one of the best multiplayer games of 2015, it seems as though developer 343 Industries is not quite happy with the game’s campaign. As such, the developer is making some balance changes to the title’s story mode.

Announcing the changes over at Halo Waypoint, it looks as though the Halo 5 campaign is going to play in a slightly different way going forward. Chris Proctor, the Senior Systems Designer over at 343 Industries, took the time to explain exactly what changes are going to happen and why. After spending months accumulating feedback in the form of direct player communication, reviews, let’s play videos, and internal comments, Proctor is hoping to now be able to offer up a much more balanced campaign experience.

To begin with, the overall difficulty of the single player and co-operative campaign modes is going to change. Players going in to the Halo 5 campaign solo will find the overall balance of the game a little tougher, after fans of the title gave feedback that it was too easy. Meanwhile, those taking on the campaign with friends will be able to have a smoother ride.


Alongside these overall balance tweaks, the Warden is also getting some changes. According to Proctor, the Warden has been criticized as a source of an unfair spike in difficulty when playing on higher levels – particularly the triple-Warden fight near the end of the game – so 343 Industries has taken steps to combat this issue. As such, Warden attacks are now easier to dodge, melee attacks have less range, and the tough front armor has been weakened slightly.

A number of other tweaks will also be implemented. AI Focus Turret damage output has been reduced, while the effectiveness of AI Storm Rifle, Suppressor, and Light Rifle use has also been lowered. Meanwhile, AI squad members are now less likely to be killed when in a gunner’s turrent in a player-controlled vehicle, which will no doubt alleviate a lot of frustration.

There are certainly a lot of changes afoot for Halo 5 as of late. After all, the Ghosts of Meridian free DLC pack has now arrived, bringing with it new maps and gear, and 343 Industries has even teased the return of the classic Infection mode. Just don’t expected Halo 5 to make it to PC any time soon.

Here is a full rundown of the changes coming in:

  • Reduced two-player difficulty slightly
  • Increased single player difficulty slightly
  • Made Warden attacks a little easier to dodge, particularly on lower difficulties
    • Face Beam tracks moving targets less accurately
    • Gravity Bomb has less homing
    • Melee attack has slightly less range
  • Made the Warden slightly easier to kill from the front
  • Reduced AI Focus Turret damage output
  • Reduced AI Storm Rifle, Suppressor and Light Rifle effectiveness
    • AI Storm Rifle: fires in shorter bursts, projectiles spread out more and move more slowly. Jackals are now less effective than Elites with the Storm Rifle
    • AI Suppressor: fires in longer bursts, projectiles have less homing. Crawlers are now less effective than Soldiers with the Suppressor
    • AI now fire shorter bursts with the Light Rifle
  • Increased AI Plasma Pistol, Needler and Beam Rifle effectiveness
    • AI Plasma Pistol: slightly higher accuracy and damage
    • AI Needler: AI now fire longer bursts (i.e. can now supercombine players on Heroic and above), slightly higher damage
    • AI Beam Rifle: slightly more damage (mostly this will make it a two-shot kill instead of a three-shot kill in Heroic single player, allowing Jackal Snipers to actually kill a player from time to time)
  • Added a “tackle” animation to Sword Elites – shoutout to Pat Gillette for making the sweet sword tackle animation
    • Instead of stopping to swing at a moving target they can swing on the move
  • Increased Elite, Elite Officer and Soldier Officer durability
  • Reduced Soldier bamf frequency
  • Killing a Crawler now deals area-of-effect damage to all nearby enemies, softening them up or killing them outright
  • Reduced frequency of Squad AI getting killed while in a gunner’s turret in a player’s vehicle
  • Made being killed by an attached Plasma Grenade non-revivable, similar to lethal damage from a Binary Rifle
  • Increased AI special ability chance with higher player count in co-op games, e.g. Plasma Pistol overcharge, grenade throw
  • Increased AI promotion chance with player count in co-op games
    • i.e. in cooperative games you will encounter more high-ranked enemies where promotion paths exist (most noticeable with Grunts, Elites, Jackals and Crawlers)
  • The first player to press the “Call for Help” now has priority, other players will have to wait their turn for a revive – shoutout to Mr. Robert Kingsley for the code fix for this

Halo 5 is out now for Xbox One.

Source: Halo Waypoint