Halo 3: Update 1 is fixing Melee

Headshot with brute pistol

Halo 3: Update 1 is fixing Melee

You all may not know, but Halo 2 was initially very broken. As in, not even that fun. Imagine, if you will, a Halo without melee damage. Melee damage was nominal, requiring several hits to take down an opponent. A hit to the back didn’t even kill. Grenade splash area was small, and damage was low. Everyone simply used two weapons because melee and grenades were useless, which subsequently removed all two handed weapons as well from many matches as being useful.

Then bungie released Halo 2 version 1.1 (the only update released). The increased melee damage and grenade damage and overall tweaked the game to be more like Halo 1. This was great, and made Halo 2 my choice of lan game.

Now, Bungie preps Halo 3’s first update. Amongst the fixes, they are changing melee. Currently, whoever has the most health wins melee matches. There is also <1 second delay that still lets slightly delayed hits count as simultaneous. This is to help lag. It is a very simple rule that leads to people shooting and running straight at each other, and then whoever fires first / is the better shot wins because he has more shields at the time of impact, and that almost every melee battle comes to this because the delay allows both players to always throw melee attacks into one of these tie-breaker battles.

This will change.

Now, close ties will result in both people dying. This will be a very large change. Depending on what they consider “close,” this could alter how overpowered melee is currently.

Not overpowered? Look at any decent players stats. Many have most of their kills with melee. Yes, it is true you can melee with any weapon, so it should have higher stats. But to be within melee range that often, to have the opportunity to melee kill that many opponents? In a FPS? How often do you see melee kills in any other FPS? The maps aren’t smaller, forcing people to be closer. People run at each other.

Before people bemoan this, remember Halo 1/2 would simply reward the faster player, not the player with more health. Sometimes, both players would die.

“You have been killed by the Guardians”

Just because you got shot first doesn’t mean you should lose the fight if you can startle them by quickly closing distance and punching them. After all, they got the drop on you: they should be able to back away and keep shooting, or punch you first.

What remains to be seen is how this plays out. Currently, it takes half a clip of good shooting to kill someone. Amongst my friends (me included) it is often a full clip, then if they are still alive, followed by a melee to finish them off. Will all of these ties be one-for-one trades of kills? Was the currently broken melee the only thing stopping people from realizing it takes too many shots to take people down? Or do we all need to get better at the all-winning headshot?