If there is one problem with Halo: Reach’s rank progression, it’s the grind. As players enter the higher ranks the games scales back rewards, becoming nonexistent, and it’s a grind to get to the final Inheritor rank.
Halo 4 has eight Specializations, allowing players to receive in-game buffs effectively
We’re not sure if 343 Industries debut title in the Halo series will be a success, but we do know it’s ambitious. A feature talked about, in an interview with IGN, by designer David Ellis is Specializations, high-end content granting in-game modifiers.
As a quick summary before each Specialization is talked about, players reach the maximum level (50) and then pick a Specialization. Two are accessible from the moment you boot Halo 4, and players won’t need to re-level to earn additional Specializations after making a choice.
Wetworks is one of two Specializations available at launch in Halo 4. Using the Promethean Vision armor ability usually means players appear as a red object in-game. Wetwork simplifies the appearance to an outline, and reduces the noise made when sprinting. Players will still appear on the radar though.
Pioneer is the other Specialization available at launch, granting more experience points. It is time-based, though, so players can’t equip the Specialization for an experience boost and then equip a different Specialization after a game has finished.
Engineer allows Ordnance Drops to be seen a couple of second before non-Engineer players in Halo 4, and the arrow pointing to a weapon has increased range.
Tracker is another simple bonus: players can request another weapon drop is a selection isn’t liked.
Rogue makes the reticle more stable according to Ellis, meaning players won’t zoom out when shot.
Stalker shows the last player who killed you and players who challenged you, though we don’t know what qualifies a player to be shown on the HUD.
Pathfinder reduces weapon cooldown time while allowing for faster movement speed when carrying detached weapons, like turrets, while Operator reduces the effectiveness of EMP blasts stopping vehicles.
I don’t know how I feel about Specializations. It feels like the established systems of balance in Halo — shooting players with a sniper rifle so they zoom out, or firing an an EMP blast at a banshee so it falls to the ground — will go.
Halo 4 launches November 6 only on Xbox 360.