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?

5 thoughts on “Halo 3: Update 1 is fixing Melee

  1. I’m pretty eager to see these changes in effect. Halo whiners are some of the loudest in all of the internets, and I’m actually surprised that Bungie is throwing in a change of this magnitude.

    The melee issues are the most frustrating part of playing Halo 3 online, especially after being used to Halo 2’s system, even if it was largely based on latency and connection speed. Like the b.net update says, if you learned to just swing a bit early, it became second nature to get a few rounds out and then melee at the right moment. But I do think you bring up a good point in the fact that in nearly every other shooter, close quarters combat is rare to the point where it can be awkward when it does actually happen (ever run circles around a guy in COD4? Embarrassing.)

    The only other game I can think of that involves as much up close combat as Halo would have to Gears. The first few months of Gears of War online were nothing more than running around holding down the B button hoping an opponent would run into the thing. Then people discovered the power that the shotgun had when used the right way, and it became (and still remains) the ever frowned-upon noob’s choice. Anyways, getting back to Halo; every game is going to have one way of getting kills that is only slightly easier than the other methods, and it will be exploited to no end and looked down upon by the ‘hardcore’ fans. I give Bungie props for taking steps to do something about a feature of their game that the community protested. I can’t imagine that it’s very easy to admit defeat to the message board whiners, let alone actually go back and make changes to suit their impatient needs.

  2. Hah. Internet whinders. Hence the title of their post:
    “OMG Fix Mayleeey, Bungle!”

    It’ll definitely be interesting to see how this changes things. I know our matches involve full clips expended at each other, then a melee. If the Tool of Destruction is something other than a fist, it is weird.

  3. Yeah, it’s funny when you get online, and if you’re on a big enough map, guys will just sprint at you as soon as they see you, squeezing the AR trigger until they get close enough for a bash. I’ve found that carrying a BR around and backpedaling when this happens nearly always results in a kill since your opponent is probably going to be going in a straight line at you, keeping him right where your BR scope hopes he is. As long as you see him coming early enough, his AR spray will not be enough to kill you by the time you get a good 4 or so BR shots off on his dome.

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