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Uh, I abhor that I even need to post this. I apologize for that…

This past March marks 3 consecutive years I’ve been unemployed. As a disabled veteran, you’d think I might have an easier time gaining employment, but alas that hasn’t happened. I’ve applied for many hundreds of jobs in that time frame. Funds are pretty tight for me and I do not qualify for even some of the most basic programs that would alleviate the need for me to even post this article. So here I am asking for your help.

The renewal for comes up in September. As well, the 2nd Annual HFFL LAN is in August. Last year I didn’t have to pay for renewal as it was the second year of my 2 year plan. As well, the LAN last year was on a shoestring budget.

This year I need help raising funds for renewal of the site. It’s much cheaper to go with a multi-year deal than yearly. So that is what I’m striving for. I will need a little bit more than $300 for two years. I’d like to go for the 5 year plan which saves me even more. That would take $600 to cover. This also helps to ensure that HFFL will be around that long!

On top of this is the LAN. All told, I’m going to need $700 for that this year. That includes the business I’m hiring to bring their equipment to my home for the LAN, as well as food, drinks, prizes and such. I’ve already petition sponsorship form several business. So far to no avail, though I am waiting on a couple others to respond.

I’m NOT asking for anyone to go out of their way here. As I’ve mentioned many times before, HFFL will always remain free to join. HFFL is not like other fan sites that charge you for membership or for getting into an ‘inner circle’. I just don’t believe in that kind of stuff as we’re all fans. So we shouldn’t be charging others. However, there are things that cost real money. So I’m asking for small donations.

If I were to get just 50 cents from every (unique) person in just ONE day of the 365 days a year as donations, this would cover those costs above. I might even have a little extra to either make the site better, run faster or have better offerings at the LAN.

It is my sincere hope that you find HFFL worth 50 cents. Again, this isn’t mandatory. It’s not a membership fee or anything of the like. You give as you want to or not. As I said, I hope that what HFFL has provided to you in the form of all things Halo including: entertainment, news, product reviews, discussions, fan art, forums and so much more, is worth that small donation. You donation helps to ensure that the site and all it offers will be around for year to come.

You can donate by clicking on the donate tab in the right menu bar on the main page (via paypal), or by donating directly to my paypal e-mail address: [email protected].

Any donation is most appreciated. Please consider it.

Host – Spirit of Fire Podcast
and all around Halo Fan (for life)

Are you ready for the next iteration of Halo?

The title of the article is exactly what I’m asking.

Are you ready for the next iteration of Halo?

No, I do not mean the Master Chief collection. That isn’t an iteration per say though a new user interface will be nice, as well as updated graphics and some re-envisioned maps.

No, I’m talking about Halo 5 Guardians.

Halo5-Primary-TeaserArt-Horizontal-RGB-Final-jpgThis new chapter in the Halo franchise seems to be bringing with it, a much different story than we’re used to having. I dare say even unexpected.

Many questions have been raised from what we know and do not know of Halo 5 Guards. (I’ll refer to now as H5G)

We know that we’re going to find out about Agent Lock in the Halo Nightfall series. Hopefully more than just his origins though. I’d like to at least get a basic understanding of why he’s interested in Master Chief.

During the trailer we see that he is studying Master Chief. For what purpose? Is it to learn Chief’s patterns or methods? Is it to use those patterns against him? Will Lock be hunting Master Chief? If so, is that to bring him back to humanity/UNSC/ONI? Or is it to kill him?

There has been mentioned that Chief is questioning the UNSC and it’s motives. Might Lock also be doing the same? If not from the beginning of H5G, then maybe at some turning point in the campaign.

The fact that we see Lock presumably with the Arbiter and on Sanghelios brings yet more questions.

So the question again: Are you ready for the next iteration of Halo? This next campaign is said to be much darker than any of the previous ones. What has changed for it to become that way? There are many more questions that can be asked, but for now, let’s ponder on those above.

In the meantime, let’s also look at multiplayer/matchmaking.

In several interviews, various 343 Industries personnel have stated there will not be armor abilities. However, they have said there will be Spartan abilities. So what exactly does that mean?

Allow me to take a stab at that. Armor abilities are a load out thing. Those are gone. But the abilities themselves may not be. Instead of being something you PICK to use, these Spartan abilities may (and I think likely) be abilities ALL Spartans will have. Meaning it will be a level playing field for all as everyone will have the same abilities.

Now what will those abilities be? There are clues in the trailer as I’ve mentioned before. I think Thrust will be one. Likely Sprint. Then there are those two new moves we saw in the trailer. The one I’ve deemed to be called a ‘power slide’ and the other a ‘power slam’. However, those might have been for cinematic effect. What else might we hope for as abilities that every Spartan is equipped with?

It’s pretty safe to say that many would very much welcome dual wielding back into Halo. As well, I think we could consider grenade pick-up as standard. (Why that was ever changed I don’t know. That still seems like a silly choice.)

That said above, it means we will likely see the demise or certain armor abilities for good, while others may become map pick-ups.

Let’s consider those then for a moment. What armor abilities are there in Halo 4? Will they make a return? Be suspended? Or make a return as a pick-up?
Auto Sentry – I haven’t seen this heavily used in Halo 4. It’ does have it’s purpose though. Possible pick-up only
Active Camo – For the love of all things Halo this better not be a Spartan ability. Map pick up, okay, so long as only ONE person at a time can have it.
Thruster Pack – As said above, I think this will be a standard ability. If not then definitely a pick-up.
Promethean Vision – Ok, THIS one has got to go! I know people that use it and even many of them say it’s a noob ability. IMO, it’s way too overpowered. Gone are many tactics used for so long in Halo. This need to be suspended, indefinitely. NO, not even a pick-up.
Regen Field – This has been in Halo for awhile in some form or another. It should come back as a map pick-up.
Jetpack – Okay, I have to say I’m biased FOR this ability as I LOVE jet packing around. However, I’m also cognizant of the fact that many do not like it’s use in Halo. I would be bummed if it were retired completely, so I’m hoping it will be a map pick-up. If only ONE person has it, then it won’t be completely over-powered.
Hologram – Heh, I’ve been psyched out by this more times than In care to admit. Come on, admit it, you too… I can’t see this being retired. So a map pick-up it is.
Hardlight Shield – Not as powerful as Armor Lock was, therefore not anywhere near as hated. I don’t mind when people use this as I usually just toss a grenade a little bit beyond them and have it do damage from behind. While I’d rather not see ANY Forerunner abilities (or weapons) come back, this would be one I’d be fine with as a map pick-up.

Now the thing is, with many of those above I think might be possible as map pick-ups, I hope that 343 does NOT put them all on each map. Rather, only one or two at most on a map. This will help reduce the variables by comparison that are rampant in Halo 4. As well, those on specific maps need to be considered wisely. In other words, no jet pack on a small enclosed map. No hologram on a big map. (Though I can hear the arguments for such.)

Auto sentry would be practically useless on a big map, unless it were for CTF for example where you would set it up to protect the flag.

Regen and Active Camo would be the most versatile as they could be use on just about any map. Considering their history in Halo, these are the ones I’d prefer to see the most, while the other ones used a bit more sparingly. Again though only ONE person at a time should have either of these abilities. As an example, think about Active Camo on Ragnarok. How many times have you been sniped on that map by an Active Camo user? (Or have you done this dastardly deed yourself, LOL)

All of those things need to be considered when placing abilities on specific maps. Not to mention power weapons. Which brings me to the next part.

No more Infinity drops please? Or rather if there are ranked and social playlists, these should not be rampant on maps. It’s frustrating as hell to see a whole other team have Overshield. Talk about OP power ups. This also goes for power weapons. For the love of gawd, there needs to be only ONE Rocket Launcher on a map at any given time. Sniper, maybe two, unless your playing the sniper playlist.

Okay, so how do the paragraphs answer my original question?

Well, they don’t specifically. But what they do manage to do is point to the direction many fans hope H5G goes in. It may seem like a step back from the evolution of Halo that happened in reach and then Halo 4. However, from the plethora of feedback both Bungie and 343 have received over the years, it’s pretty clear that long time fans do not want that sort of evolution in Halo.

Going back then to what was previously mentioned. Spartan Abilities. Instead of the armor abilities that have had many a fan in an uproar, will THIS be the proper evolution of Halo? Having a limited amount of abilities that are standard for all Spartans does level the playing field. There is a potential drawback though. When using these, button layout MUST be considered. Will Bumper Jumper users be able to use thrust for example?

Also, how will the Spartan abilities be activated. I’ve gone over that before saying that the D-pad is likely the next evolution as well. If we indeed have 4 Spartan Abilities, then by pressing on one of the 4 directions, you enable your spartan to use that ability. AND…you can change it on the fly as you desire or need to.

Yes, that adds some variability. However, since everyone has that same abilities, one would hope there wouldn’t be as much complaining about them. (Of course, that’s asking a hell of a lot from we Halo fans, who are known for not holding back on our complaints….LOL)

I’ll ask again then, are you ready for the next iteration? If what I’ve detailed above were to be how the game plays, would you be happy? Okay with? Irritated? or Appalled?

Whatever H5G will be, we know it WON’T be the same as classic Halo. AND it WON’T be the same as Reach or Halo 4 either.

Sound off below. I’d love to read your comments on this.